The Queens Room

The Oueen's Room, the first class Iounge on two cIass crossings, stretches across the aft end of the Quarter Deck with only sliding glass doors separating it from the promenades to port and starboard. The room is almost square, 105 feet by 100feet. Michael Inchbald has used a number of devices to extend its apparent length and to give an impression of height to the low nine feet three inch ceiling. The result is fresh and airy, bright

with the colours of sunlight and plants. The ceiling is an open perforated screen of white glassfibre-reinforced plastics, lit from behind to increase the effect of a sunny garden. The duct casings which break the ceiling up into three areas are supported by structural columns sheathed in trumpets of GRP; these are oval in section to stress the fore-aft axis of the room. At each end the walls do their job in deceiving the eye and making the room appear longer. Their width is masked on each side by panels of mirror and the central area of each is covered in blocks of walnut-veneered GRP. Some planes of this chunky, three—dimensional wall are faced with mirror which disguises its solidity and suggests space beyond. Colours in the room are mostly light and sunny. The Tamesa Venus curtains at the sliding doors which separate it from the promenades are in immense unequal stripes of white, lemon, beige and orange and there is a scattering of similar-coloured cushions.

The white plastics Lurashell chairs are made in two sizes to Michael lnchbald's design are GRP shells and are upholstered with coffee-coloured Connolly leather. Walnut-topped Arkana tables have trumpet bases in polished aluminium (intended to read as inverted and miniature expressions ofthe column claddings), the beautiful striated carpet, above, was specially designed by Michael Inchbald and woven by Thomson Shepherd in succulent textures of honey and pale beige. Thomson Shepherd made about three and a half miles of Wilton carpet for the ship. An 80-percent wool, 20·percent nylon surface pile from their standard range was used in halfthe first—class cabins and a quarter of the tourist cabins. For the Oueen's Room Michael lnchbald first specified a machine-made simulation of a hand-knotted carpet with a very heavy weight of pile in four colours. In fact, the cost of weaving it by machine was prohibitive and so the company set out to find a way of producting something comparable at reasonable cost. With the help of the dyers, two dyes with a matching tolerance far narrower than that normally applied to dye-stuffs were produced and these, combined with clever use of cut and uncut pile, contrive to achieve the four-colour effect.

In the main, central part of the Oueen's Room a lower level is separated from the upper by a low, white·Iacquered seat inset with troughs to hold green plants. Sofas on the upper level and those cantilevered out below the plants at the lower level have red tweed upholstery by Donald Brothers. Bandstands, intrinsic parts of many shipboard public rooms, can look forlorn when not in use. Michael lnchbald decided to project some interest onto the white curved shape of his with moving coloured lights whose speed can be regulated according to mood - or the weather. This room was designed by a man of long experience, particularly in providing settings for the wealthy. The contract work is by HeaI’s Contracts Ltd.

Just aft of the Queen’s Room is the Conference Room designed by Dennis Lennon & Partners. It has five ship-to-shore Press telephone booths for use while the ship is in port and comfortable working facilities for business groups, who it is hoped will use the OE2 much as they do luxury hotels.

Like all other promenades on the ship, the Quarter Deck promenades were designed by Dennis Lennon & Partners. The floor surface is off-white mini-rib rubber sheet and bulkheads, below lefl, are lined with magnolia Formica. Harry Bert0ia's famous chairs made in this country by Form International are common to all promenades, but their upholstery varies according to the area they serve. Quarter Deck seating, centre left, uses flame-coloured wool, which complements the colours in the Queen’s Room, so that when the sliding doors are pushed back in the evening to make it one large area, there is no conflict of colours. When the ship is cutting through the inky heat of summer evenings much of the atmosphere will be due to the simple light fittings hidden behind potted plants in the corners of the deck. Wall-fixed about two feet from the deck, these spill pools of yellow light downwards and shoot a stronger beam upwards through the branches and leaves. Dennis Lennon’s office designed the light, which is made by Rotaflex; it comprises a satin chrome cylinder, 18 inches high and seven inches in diameter, gripped by a block of matching chrome of similar dimensions. The face of the block follows the curve of the cylinder but is separated from it by a fraction of an inch.

The top half of the cylinder is lined with Rotaflex‘s standard multigroove baffle which reduces glare from the upward-pointing spotlight. In the bottom half a conventional bulb sheds a soft pool of light downwards. A small hole cut in the back of the cylinder lets light out on to the scarlet-painted concave surface of the mounting block and emphasises the separation of the two main elements. The lights were produced for about £12 each, but not without headaches: the size of the cylinder meant that the scars of manufacturing — either by spinning or rolling and welding - were magnified to noticeable proportions on early prototypes. Eventually spinning was chosen as the manufacturing process and the marking problem was overcome by a careful and rigid specification of materials, finish and process. There are as yet no plans to include these lights in the Rotaflex catalogue, although the company say they would be available as a special for large orders.

Backed by all the experience and knowledge accumulated in only three months of existence, the 22-year-old managing director of Glasdon Glasfibre approached Cunard for the first time eight years ago when the ship was still in the initial design stages and said he thought his product had great potential in the proposed new Queen. This approach resulted in a contract to supply components made of glassfibre-reinforced plastics (GRP) worth £15,000. These are used most impressively for the upsweeping trumpet columns and the perforated backlit ceiling in the Oueen's Room, right and above. The apparently complex shapes of the ceiling were in fact a straightforward job to make, requiring two basic GRP components, while trumpet casings of the columns were easily moulded in two halves. Conversely, the simple window surrounds on the promenade and verandah decks, right, also made of GRP by Glasdon, presented extraordinarily complicated manufacturing involving the use of a multipiece mould. The difficulty was in producing a one-piece surround with the intricate section required to make an eliicient and good looking joint with the reveals between the ship's inner lining and window frame. Even so, if the same thing had had to be made in metal it would have required several different custom·made components for each surround and future corrosion would have been a continual problem.