Member News

David Collins Studio reveals its first interior designs for Cunard's new Queen Anne liner

Following the eagerly anticipated name reveal of Queen Anne on the 8th February, Cunard has now unveiled more details of the design - including working with Walpole member David Collins Studio on the interiors of some of the most prestigious spaces onboard
24th Mar 2022
Member News David Collins Studio reveals its first interior designs for Cunard's new Queen Anne liner

Designers David Collins Studio, Richmond International and Sybille de Margerie, working with Creative Director for Cunard Adam D Tihany, are collaborating to create an extraordinary and thoughtful, modern approach to the venues, suites and décor design on the upcoming Queen Anne liner - currently being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.

The talents’ portfolios include luxury hotels, spas, restaurants and bars, as well as high end yachts, and private grand residences. For the first time David Collins Studio and Sybille de Margerie are taking their land based expertise to the ship experience.

The principle concept was founded on heritage, craftsmanship, storytelling, style and innovation. These five pillars ultimately became the design DNA for the ship, and accordingly, the engine of inspiration for the designers, working together in unison. Adam D Tihany underscored how these five values would interplay, "just the way a world-renowned orchestra delivers a feeling, or takes you to a moment or an era, Queen Anne’s aesthetic would do the same in harkening Cunard’s gilded age, but through the bold, onward lens of modernity".

The design teams tapped into the Cunard archives, held at the University of Liverpool, sourcing a rich trove of historical documents and details on layout, materials, fabrics, patterns and textures. No stone was left unturned, from iconic poster advertisements, brochure covers and plans of grand spaces of Cunard’s early deco inspired ships, to deliver a ship concept that rivals the finest in hospitality experienced on shore. Adam D Tihany explains he crystallized the vision as an "enchanting bridge from Cunard’s storied history to the future".

Simon Rawlings, Creative Director at David Collins Studio says of the design brief, "I was daunted by the scale, and multitude of venues to begin with, but as we started to unravel the journey, craft the experiences, and hone the vision, it all became clear. We wanted to create something nostalgic yet contemporary, relaxed yet glamorous, new and exciting – all within the constraints of a ship."


Sybille de Margerie says, "we based the design on a sense of wonder, like a matchmaker at sea that introduces the past to its most alluring future".

"We worked very closely with the Cunard ship building team during the design process to gather as much knowledge as possible and also referred back to our extensive hospitality experience, where longevity and practicality are as important as the look and feel," explains Lewis Taylor, Design Director at David Collins Studio on the process. "We have added layers of architectural details and design codes that refer back to Cunard’s history and that add a touch of whimsy and British eccentricity to the experiences. These architectural design elements along with the exquisite level of service on board, will make the new vessel truly unique".

The design DNA was first brought to life through the iconic Cunard Grill Suites. The Queens Grill Suites (pictured above) offer guests their own private residences on board and deliver a new level of exclusivity, with each finish carefully curated in every room. Designed by David Collins Studio, they represent the epitome of luxury accommodation at sea with a dedicated dining room and adjacent butler’s pantry, walk-in wardrobes, marble finished bathrooms with views out to sea, a spacious bedroom and the largest balconies onboard. The Princess Grill Suites, designed by Sybille de Margerie, are warm, inviting and surrounded in the softest materials and delicate textures for an intimate experience featuring a bespoke dressing table and bar area with pattern wall panel inspired by the flowing lines of Cunard's past liners, sculpted ceiling panels and grand saloon carpets by textile designer, Corinne Hughes. While the Britannia balcony staterooms provide cosy sofa seating areas looking out to sea, and light, bright bathrooms with glass walk-in showers for a more relaxed, luxury experience.

A focal point for guests and the heart of the ship, the Grand Lobby (pictured above), was designed to provide a show-stopping entrance, full of energy and light. Marking the transition from past to present, the area houses a contemporary metal mural sculpture that changes throughout the day by the lighting effect integrated within with an art deco leaning in homage to the ‘Golden Age’ of travel. The narrative is also keenly brought into play through the elevated entertainment spaces such as the vivid reimaging of the flagship Royal Court Theatre. The two-deck 825 seat space, designed by Richmond International, is inspired by the great sound halls of the world. All seating is of the utmost comfort and adorned in rich velvet providing each guest with a perfect view of the stage, where they may enjoy a wide variety of entertainment throughout the day and night.

Each of the fifteen restaurants on board Queen Anne are distinctive where guests will enjoy a wide variety of cuisines from around the world. This is vividly reflected in the décor - from the strikingly grand Britannia Restaurant to the newly refined Golden Lion pub (pictured above). A first in Cunard’s fleet, Queen Anne will also exclusively reveal a new wellness and beauty concept never seen before on a Cunard vessel featuring the widest selection of fitness, beauty, thermal and spa suite facilities with a contemporary, open and airy aesthetic.

Another vital aspect to the overall blueprint is the colour palette which has been individually curated for every space to create a unique ambience in every setting. Bold new colours elevate the signature spaces and Queens Grill Suites, deep blues with flashes of golden yellow in the Britannia Staterooms have been chosen to reflect the sea and shimmer of sunlight and deep rich tones of red, amber and gold heighten the luxurious lounge feel of the Princess Grill Suites. For the Princess and Queens Grill restaurants, bright colours were chosen with elements of gold, to reinforce the luxurious but refined overall design aesthetic on board. Simon Rawlings adds, "anything tricky can date, anything too predictable can be tiresome and replicated, so keeping things fresh, unique and bold ensures the designs are timeless, and meet or exceed guest expectations".

Another first for Cunard, the updated exterior of the ship will proudly sport the famous red funnel but also will debut a refined updated livery, with a finessed design of the iconic crest and introduction of an elegant new font inspired by the grand ocean liners of the past, to confidently present the name Queen Anne on the forward bow.

Every Cunard ship is set to the highest interior design standard and Queen Anne epitomises this approach. Lee Powell, Cunard Brand Vice President adds, ‘We’ve worked with world leading interior designers and fresh creative talent; we’ve discussed and tested our ideas with guests from around the world; and we’ve delved deep into the Cunard archives to make sure we can truly celebrate what makes Cunard so unique’.

Queen Anne will set sail in early 2024, with her maiden season programme available to book from May 2022.

Related Articles

Representing British luxury in Riyadh
Walpole Worldwide
23rd May 2024
Representing British luxury in Riyadh
Last week, Walpole's Charlotte Keesing was part of the luxury delegation at GREAT Futures 2024 in Riyadh – an event to mark the start of a year-long campaign between the UK and Saudi Arabia to promote cultural and business collaboration. Here, Keesing write about her key takeaways from the event and what British brands need to know about working in Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC
Get to know Otiumberg, one of Walpole's Brands of Tomorrow 2024
Brands of Tomorrow
23rd May 2024
Get to know Otiumberg, one of Walpole's Brands of Tomorrow 2024
In our new Instagram Live series, we speak to the founders behind the twelve emerging luxury companies participating in the Brands of Tomorrow 2024 programme every Wednesday at 1pm. In the first edition, our Head of Content, Nick Carvell, interviews sisters Rosanna and Christie Wollenberg, the Co-Founders of demi-fine jewellery brand, Otiumberg
Meet the Brands of Tomorrow 2024 in our Instagram Live series
Brands of Tomorrow
22nd May 2024
Meet the Brands of Tomorrow 2024 in our Instagram Live series
Join us over the coming weeks on Instagram as we introduce you to the founders of the emerging British luxury brands currently participating in this year's Brands of Tomorrow mentorship programme. Tune in on our Instagram channel on Wednesdays at 1pm