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.

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RIBA116874Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase and handrail

 
RIBA116875Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116876Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London


RIBA116877Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase

 
RIBA116878Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase from the upper floor

 
RIBA116879Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter at upper level


RIBA116880Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar area at ground level

 
RIBA116881Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter on the ground floor

 
RIBA116882Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop


RIBA116883Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop

 
RIBA116884Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116885Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the passageway leading to the wine shop


RIBA116886Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116887Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116888Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: a wine trolley


RIBA116889Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the cutlery holder

 
RIBA116890Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116891Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase


RIBA116892Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase from the upper level

 
RIBA116893Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter at upper level

 
RIBA116894Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar area at ground floor level


RIBA116895Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop

 
RIBA116896Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop

 
RIBA116897Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the passageway leading to the wine shop


RIBA116898Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop

 
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RIBA116900Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London


RIBA116901Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London: the entrance

 
RIBA116902Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London

 
RIBA116903Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London