Cunard commissions Paul Ward to capture the grandeur of Cunard’s iconic offices in UK and North America
The opulence, splendour and grandeur of Cunard Line’s former office buildings in Britain and North America are to become an integral part of the fleet’s flagship Queen Mary 2 during her major 2016 refit.
Cunard Buildings in Liverpool, Southampton and New York each feature in a specially-commissioned set of images to be displayed in the ship’s suites and staterooms when she re-enters service following her three-week refit next June.
Renowned, UK architectural photographer Paul Ward accepted the Cunard commission and has spent almost a month researching, visiting and photographing the buildings.
He started work in December at the Cunard Building in Liverpool, this year celebrating the centenary of its opening as the line’s headquarters in 1916. It remained the global focal point of Cunard operations until 1967 and in 2004 became part of the City of Liverpool’s acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site at Pier Head overlooking the River Mersey.
Paul’s New Year started in Manhattan where he spent time studying and photographing the Cunard Building at 25 Broadway. It too is highly noted for its architectural significance, with the entrance lobby and first-floor ticketing office designated a New York City Landmark in 1995.
The last of the former offices photographed in the current commission is the Grade II listed South Western House in the company’s home city of Southampton.
Angus Struthers, Cunard Director, says: “The scale and substance of each of these buildings is inspiring and reflects both the culture and heritage of Cunard over many decades. The architectural style, as well as the interior layout and décor can clearly be seen to mirror that found on board our great liners of yesteryear. There can be no more fitting way to preserve and celebrate this unique aspect of Cunard history than by incorporating Paul’s stunning images on board our flagship Queen Mary 2. In the years to come our guests will be able to enjoy this very special reminder of the part these great buildings have played in Cunard history.”
Paul Ward says: “This has been an incredible assignment. Starting in Liverpool, where the Cunard Building is still such a dominant façade on that famous waterfront, was amazing. The exterior of the building is striking and once you arrive inside it is stunning. Everywhere I turned, from the old luggage areas in the basement to the former First Class Lounge on the top floor and even the roof with its view across the city, I was spoilt for choice. In New York, the inside of the Broadway building is simply breath-taking. At Southampton, the Grade II listed South Western House with its long association with ocean travel, was also an inspirational location. All of these buildings are so important to Cunard and it has been a privilege to visit each one and record a small aspect of the part they have played in both the history of Cunard and the maritime history of these great cities.”
Queen Mary 2’s major 25-day refit will see all Grills Suites and all Britannia Club staterooms, together with more than half of balcony staterooms redesigned. Fresh design schemes and fine details will pay tribute to the original Queen Mary’s iconic art deco heritage while keeping this grand ocean liner at the forefront of luxury.
During her time in dry dock, Queen Mary 2 will also receive a wide range of upgrades, including 30 new Britannia Club Balcony staterooms and 15 Britannia Single staterooms, as well as a comprehensive refurbishing of all pre-existing Britannia Club Balcony cabins.
Britannia Club guests enjoy an elevated experience on board with large, well-appointed balcony staterooms, all with prime locations as well as the freedom to dine when you choose in the dedicated Britannia Club Restaurant – the perfect setting for those who prefer a more intimate dining experience.
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For more information visit www.cunard.co.uk.
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