SS Normandie: Trans-Atlantic haut décor

Perhaps one of the greatest liners was the Normandie launched in 1932 for the Le Havre-New York route of Compagnie Générale Translatlantique (or French Line) and the great rival to the Queen Mary for the coveted Blue Riband trans-Atlantic speed record between 1935-1938.

The epitome of French haut décor the Normandie was truly a decadent, luxury ship with Art Deco interiors and large spaces, not least the first class dining room for 700 which was illuminated by pillars of Lalique glass. Exclusive accommodation was provided by a number of large suites including the Grande Luxe Trouville suite and the rather more historic than moderne in decoration Jumièges suite based on the chambers of Louis XV’s mistress the Marquise de Pompadour.

Just two days after the start of the Second World War the Normandie was impounded by the US government becoming the USS Lafayette in 1941. Sadly she came to an ignominious end as whilst being converted to a troopship in 1942 she caught fire capsizing in the Hudson River and although salvaged restoration was too expensive.

These photographs are from an album of 46 photographs of the Normandie acquired by the RIBA in 2014.

 
Launched:  Saint-Nazaire, 1932
 
Disposal:  Scrapped: 1946-1948
 
Tonnage:  82,799 tons
 
Length:  1029 feet or 314 metres
 
Maximum speed:  32.2 knots

 

Also see: Ocean Liners, RMS Orion & RMS Orcades II, SS Oriana.

108584 items
RIBA4174Nuffield College, Oxford: the Quad

 
RIBA4175St Catherine's College, Oxford: view looking north of the inward-facing elevation of the west residential block on the left and the auditorium and library on the right

 
RIBA4176Keble College, Oxford: the gateway


RIBA4177Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford: the Wordsworth Building with Talbot Hall on the left

 
RIBA4178York Minster: the north transept with the Five Sisters Window

 
RIBA4179York Minster: the nave looking east


RIBA4183St Mary, Stratford-le-Bow, Stratford, London: reconstruction following war damage

 
RIBA4184Abbaye du Thoronet, Le Thoronet

 
RIBA4185Bridget Riley and John Weeks with Riley's murals, St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London


RIBA4187St Antony's College, Oxford: hall and common rooms

 
RIBA4188St Antony's College, Oxford: dining hall

 
RIBA4194Palau d'Esportes Sant Jordi, Barcelona


RIBA4195Selfridges department store, Bull Ring, Birmingham: the glazed entrance

 
RIBA4196Cover of journal Tee-Square & Tape, January 1928

 
RIBA4197Southside Halls of Residence, Imperial College, Kensington, London


RIBA4199Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Stuttgart: entry of pedestrian route ramp from entrance level into rotunda

 
RIBA4200Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Stuttgart: detail of support of theatre arch

 
RIBA4202Department of the Environment, Marsham Street, Westminster, London


RIBA4203Banking hall, Postsparkasse (Postal Savings Bank), Vienna

 
RIBA4204Banking hall, Postsparkasse (Postal Savings Bank), Vienna

 
RIBA4205Banking hall, Postsparkasse (Postal Savings Bank), Vienna


RIBA4206Banking hall, Postsparkasse (Postal Savings Bank), Vienna, showing doors and air ventilation units

 
RIBA4207City Library, Stockholm: the central reading room

 
RIBA4208City Library, Stockholm: the central reading room


RIBA4209City Library, Stockholm: the staircase to the central reading room

 
RIBA4210Goetheanum, Dornach

 
RIBA4211Goetheanum, Dornach: handrail detail


RIBA4212Goetheanum, Dornach: the main auditorium seen from the stage

 
RIBA4213Goetheanum, Dornach: detail of the southwest facade

 
RIBA4214Goetheanum, Dornach