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.

108600 items
RIBA4562Canterbury Cathedral: Bell Harry Tower

 
RIBA4563Science Library, University of Aberdeen: general view with the old chemistry building in background

 
RIBA4564Science Library, University of Aberdeen: the west front


RIBA4565Science Library, University of Aberdeen: the west front

 
RIBA4566Science Library, University of Aberdeen: the north front

 
RIBA4567Science Library, University of Aberdeen: lateral view showing the main entrance


RIBA4568Science Library, University of Aberdeen: the staircase to the mezzanine in the west reading room

 
RIBA4569Science Library, University of Aberdeen: a lateral view of the building with the research wing in the foreground

 
RIBA4570Science Library, University of Aberdeen: the reading room


RIBA4571Science Library, University of Aberdeen

 
RIBA4572Science Library, University of Aberdeen

 
RIBA4573Science Library, University of Aberdeen: view of the reading room from the mezzanine


RIBA4574Science Library, University of Aberdeen: the reading room

 
RIBA4575Housing at Grahame Park, Colindale, London: the southern spine seen from the north

 
RIBA4576Housing at Grahame Park, Colindale, London: close-up of a stair tower and public access decks


RIBA4587Cathedral of Notre Dame, Bayeux, Normandy: the choir

 
RIBA4588Battersea Power Station, London, seen from across the River Thames

 
RIBA4592Design for a shop at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, Paris 1925


RIBA4593Design for patisserie kiosk, Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, Paris 1925

 
RIBA4594Dolphin Square, Grosvenor Road, Pimlico, London: the internal courtyard seen from the south

 
RIBA4596Gull Rock, Carlyon Bay, Cornwall: view of the south elevation showing the balcony


RIBA4597Daily Express Building, 120-129 Fleet Street, City of London: the black Vitrolite and glass cladding contrasting with Wren's St Bride's Church in the background

 
RIBA459932 Newton Road, Paddington, London: page spread of the interior details

 
RIBA4601House with cast iron filigree decoration, Sydney, New South Wales


RIBA4602Terraced houses with cast iron filigree decoration, Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria

 
RIBA4603Hallfield Primary School, Bishop's Bridge Road, Paddington, London: looking out onto the courtyard

 
RIBA4604Hallfield Primary School, Bishop's Bridge Road, Paddington, London: the corridor along the north side of the junior school block equipped with coat hooks and seating


RIBA4605Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Florence: elevated view of the west facade, cloisters and piazza

 
RIBA4606Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Florence: view from the west across the piazza with trees planted around the marble obelisk

 
RIBA4610NatWest Media Centre, Lord's Cricket Ground, London: the staircase