Backed by over 175 years of legendary voyages, Cunard is the definition of at-sea excellence. Today, it operates a trio of luxury ocean liners, all renowned for the line’s impeccable White Star Service. Together, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth are synonymous with the world’s only regularly scheduled Transatlantic liner service, a legacy that’s been kept alive since 1922.
Of course, it’s not just at-sea that Cunard indulges its love for the finer things in life. On dry land, its former office buildings in the UK and North America are celebrated as stunning examples of period architecture. The line is passionate about paying tribute to its rich heritage, and has commissioned a bespoke set of photographs that will be showcased in the Queen Mary 2’s suites and staterooms.
Old meets new
The framed photographs will be hung during the ship’s major refit, set to kick off in June. Illustrious British architectural photographer Paul Ward is the artist behind the series, having spent a month researching, touring and photographing the iconic buildings. It’s a timely year to commission the photographs, as 2016 marks the centenary of the grand opening of the Cunard Building in Liverpool. It remained the line’s global HQ until 1967, and was inaugurated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
“There is no better way to honour our illustrious history than by incorporating Paul’s images into design elements on board Queen Mary 2 as we move into the future of Cunard,” said Cunard North America President Richard Meadows.
Globetrotting behind the lens
After capturing the grandeur of the Liverpool site, Ward set his sights on Manhattan. Famous for its architectural significance and aesthetic magnitude, the lobby and first-floor ticketing office at 25 Broadway have been designated New York City Landmarks since 1995.
Finally, Ward made his way to the company’s home city of Southampton, where he delved into the history of South Western House. As a Grade II listed property, the building is a stunning example of British architecture. For Ward, it was a once in a lifetime chance to get up close and personal with a slice of history. “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,” he said.
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Image via Flickr Creative Commons. Photo credits: Bunny & Norm Lenburg, calflier001