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
RIBA4215LF1 pavilion, Weil am Rhein

RIBA4216LF1 pavilion, Weil am Rhein

RIBA4217LF1 pavilion, Weil am Rhein

RIBA4218LF1 pavilion, Weil am Rhein: ramp detail

RIBA4219LF1 pavilion, Weil am Rhein

RIBA4220Eduard Muller Crematorium, Hagen

RIBA4221Eduard Muller Crematorium, Hagen: the chapel

RIBA4222Eduard Muller Crematorium, Hagen: the rear facade

RIBA4223Eduard Muller Crematorium, Hagen

RIBA4224Jewish Museum, Berlin: the Paul Celan Courtyard with passageway

RIBA4225Jewish Museum, Berlin

RIBA4226Jewish Museum, Berlin: the Holocaust Tower

RIBA4227Jewish Museum, Berlin

RIBA4228Jewish Museum and garden, Berlin

RIBA4229Row houses 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart: view from the north

RIBA4230Row houses 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,, Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart: view from the south

RIBA4231Row houses 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart: a living room and porch

RIBA4232Row houses 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart: street entrance to one of the houses

RIBA4233Ryabushinsky House, Moscow

RIBA4234Levin apartment building, Proezd Kirova, Moscow

RIBA4235Mayakovskaya metro station, Moscow: the ceiling

RIBA4236Mayakovskaya metro station, Moscow: the ceiling

RIBA4237Mayakovskaya metro station, Moscow: the platform

RIBA4238Mayakovskaya metro station, Moscow: the platform

RIBA4239Commissariat of Agriculture (Narkomzem), Moscow

RIBA4240Commissariat of Agriculture (Narkomzem), Moscow

RIBA4241Zuev Club, Moscow

RIBA4242Izvestiya Building, Moscow

RIBA4243Burevestnik Workers' Club (now Club DK), Moscow

RIBA4244Rusakov Club, Moscow