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.

108601 items
RIBA4397Delhi, India: unidentified aerial view, possibly "Temporary Delhi", of the Imperial Secretariat with circular walled site in background

 
RIBA4398Racecourse and Tomb of Safdarjungh, Delhi

 
RIBA4399Council House, New Delhi, under construction


RIBA4400Council House, New Delhi

 
RIBA4401Secretariats, North Block, New Delhi: the "topping-out" ceremony 30 September, 1927

 
RIBA4402Secretariats, New Delhi: plan of formal Indian garden


RIBA4403Great Place, New Delhi: a bullock and cart and a motor car passing through the columned entrance

 
RIBA4404Council House under construction, New Delhi: view from the Secretariat North Block

 
RIBA4405Public swimming baths, Putney, London


RIBA4406Public swimming baths, Putney, London: the recreation rooms over the car park

 
RIBA4407Public swimming baths, Putney, London: the public entrance and reception areas

 
RIBA4409Kettle's Yard, Northampton Street, Cambridge


RIBA4410Kettle's Yard, Northampton Street, Cambridge

 
RIBA4411Model of an arch from the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool

 
RIBA4412Odeon cinema, Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, London: the auditorium seen from circle right


RIBA4414Quincy Market, Boston, Massachusetts

 
RIBA4415Northland Shopping Center, Detroit

 
RIBA4416Sir Denys Lasdun with Philip Wood looking at the model of the library extension for the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)


RIBA4417Royal National Theatre, South Bank, London, seen from the Embankment

 
RIBA441832 Newton Road, Paddington, London: Kaye and Ronald Searle's Change of address card

 
RIBA441932 Newton Road, Paddington, London: the street facade


RIBA442032 Newton Road, Paddington, London: the balcony of the studio on the third floor overlooking Newton Road

 
RIBA4422Philip Webb

 
RIBA4424St Paul's Cathedral, City of London: the dome seen from the north transept


RIBA4426Professor George Aitchison

 
RIBA4427Bar Zilli, Sematat Avenue / Beirut Street, Asmara

 
RIBA4428Bar Crispi, Denden Street, Asmara


RIBA4429Villa Grazia, 173-10 Street, Asmara

 
RIBA4430Odeon cinema, Bihat Street, Asmara: the bar

 
RIBA4431Cinema Impero, Harnet Avenue / 176-21 Street, Asmara