Author Topic: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth  (Read 16044 times)

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RMS Queen Elizabeth 2

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Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« on: Jan 11, 2010, 05:56 PM »
Its interesting that from genuine sources it says RMS Aquitania's exterior design was loosely based on RMS Olympic (Titanic's elder sistership.) Years later Cunard made a modern version of Aquitania which turned out to be RMS Queen Mary and again Cunard used QM's design onto Queen Elizabeth but a much more modern version than Mary.
After seeing all four ships at the same angles you can see the resemblance.

Has anyone else recognised this?

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #1 on: Jan 13, 2010, 10:12 AM »
I'd never considered this before reading this thread. Aquitania was Cunard's response to the higher levels of luxury offered by the Olympic class White Star liners - she was bigger and more opulent if a little slower than her greyhound sisters Lusitania & Mauretania. Her graceful counter stern (common place on ships of this era), which wasnt as efficient both in hull space and perfomance than the subsequent cruiser type sterns of QM & QE was far more asthetically pleasing (which gives me an excellent if thin excuse to post the shot of the ship beautiful on the stocks).

Comparing Aquitania & QM leads to the well know fact that the original design for QM actually had a counter stern when concepts were considered in the 1920's (see shot below - apologies for poor quality) but when designs for the ship were actually formalised the cruiser stern was the after section of choice! QM also had a well deck which attracted criticism at the time as it was considered "old fashioned" to have such a thing on a modern vessel. I think this is part of the reason that it was deleted for QE. Four stackers were also considered to be old hat by the 20s.

The comparison between QM & QE gives us very similar ships outwardly but taking into account advances in technology between QM's conception (remember her construction should have started in the 20s and when it eventually started she lay on the stocks at Browns for a couple of years due to the recession) and QE's. For example QE had half the amount of boilers of QM which allowed for the deletion of the third funnel. QE's upper decks were less cluttered due to the integration of the ventilators into the fiddley casings at the base of the funnels which meant that there was a lot more passenger space in these areas. The forementioned deletion of the well deck gave a more streamlined look along the sheer line as well.

It is also interesting to note that QM was the more popular ship laterally because of her more traditional appearance!

The Aquitania photo is part of the Cunard Archives but was scanned from the book "Aquitania - The Ship Beautiful" by L&A Streater
The Queen Mary concept shot is from the Cunard Archive

Offline Stowaway2k

Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #2 on: Jan 14, 2010, 08:13 PM »
Queen Mary's early detractors, and there were some  ::) criticised Cunard for building what they said was an over-sized Aquitania.

The Russian designer of Normandie's hull first approached Cunard with his revolutionary design.  Cunard, cautious and conservative as they were, said they were not interested. 

None of that ulitmately mattered of course, as Cunard gave us one of the greatest and most beloved, let alone most successful, ships ever built. 

Offline highlander0108

Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #3 on: Jan 15, 2010, 03:15 AM »
It looks like the Cunard designers got over it when they got to the design of QE2's hull, which looks remarkably like the original Normandie, in particular, the bulbous bow.
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Offline Bob C.

Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #4 on: Jan 19, 2010, 07:51 PM »
Queen Mary's early detractors, and there were some  ::) criticised Cunard for building what they said was an over-sized Aquitania.

The Russian designer of Normandie's hull first approached Cunard with his revolutionary design.  Cunard, cautious and conservative as they were, said they were not interested. 

None of that ulitmately mattered of course, as Cunard gave us one of the greatest and most beloved, let alone most successful, ships ever built. 

This is an interesting point.  I've noticed that very few innovations significantly changed the way liners looked especially Cunard.  Straight bows and transomed sterns ruled from the late 1800's until Normandie's hull design.  Following that, aside from their livery and funnels, its pretty diffcult to find any major differences among the liners of the 40' and 50's. 

Reading Potter and Frost with the advantage of 40+ years of hindsight, it's interesting to see how much Cunard worked on making QE2 different from her predecessors and Q3 (design and service) but how similar to QE and QM she actually was - "conservative as they were". 

Q4's trans-Atlantic service drove her hull design and aside from her raked and bulbous bow, the rest is a limited design upgrade of QM and QE.  QE2 kept her predecessors interior and exterior promenade arrangement (adding an additional one with the aluminum superstructure) as well as the cascading stern decks, single centered rudder and the Normandie's rounded stern instead of the square ones that would dominate ships of the late 60's and on (less drag, more useable internal space and less expensive to construct).  She did integrate stabilizers which were add-ons for QM and incorporated bow thrusters - a limited advance taking advantage of new technologies but still short of any radical makeovers. 

As forward leaning as Potter and Frost tried to make Cunard seem in delivering a new style of passenger liner/cruise ship, Cunard was almost too conservative in adapting the Q4 to rapidly waning trans-Atlantic service and increasing cruise trade.  Don't get me wrong, I think QE2 is a gorgeous ship (even moreso before they eliminated the Lookout Bar and put the "box" on her forehead) but my point is that Cunard was very resitant to radical change when it came to their ship design.

wombatultima

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Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #5 on: Jun 08, 2010, 11:44 PM »
Good morning

My late father in law, H S Bates, was a young architect from Australia who worked on the interiors of the QE1 in 1937. Are there any pictures from the proposed fit-out of the QE1 or from the 1946 fit-out, which I assume would have been based on the original design drawings. H. S. Bates worked on the design of all the principal public rooms on the main promenade deck, together with the restaurant, Turkish bath, and swimming pool suite.

It would also be interesting to find out the name of the firm of architects who were given the job of designing the QE1 interiors

Regards
 
 William Bell

Offline Stowaway2k

Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #6 on: Jun 09, 2010, 01:08 AM »
Hello William

Might I suggest you acquire the book THE ELIZABETH by Neil Potter and Jack Frost.  It is a very detailed history of the Queen Elizabeth, her planning, construction, and fitting out, and service life published in 1965 and written with the cooperation of Cunard.
There are always copies available at alibris.com and abebooks.com, or most other on-line brokers in out of print and rare books.

Also, QUEEN ELIZABETH by Windsor Publications is a great book full of wonderful photos.

The webmaster at rmsqueenelizabeth.com might be able to help you out.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #7 on: Jun 09, 2010, 12:52 PM »
Thats a fascinating connection to a great ship William, one of the greatest ever built!

I would also highly recommend RMS Queen Elizabeth - "The Ultimate Ship" by Clive Harvey.  One of my very favourite books -http://www.amazon.co.uk/RMS-Queen-Elizabeth-Ultimate-Ship/dp/0954366689
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Offline Trevor Harris

Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #8 on: Jan 08, 2018, 11:31 PM »
Seeing QM with a counter stern is so different!
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Offline Oceanic

Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #9 on: Jan 12, 2018, 06:49 PM »
Seeing QM with a counter stern is so different!
Yes it really is quite jarring, it shows just how conservative Cunard were with QM, even in a time of radical change among liners; Also the counter stern really makes the Mary come across as a three funnelled Aquitania which I suppose was their intention.
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Offline pete cain

Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #10 on: Jan 12, 2018, 07:38 PM »
Let's be honest here, they are still sooooo conservative, look at all the faux interiors that abound on their current fleet.

Offline Trevor Harris

Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #11 on: Jan 12, 2018, 09:00 PM »
Let's be honest here, they are still sooooo conservative, look at all the faux interiors that abound on their current fleet.
True...
Enjoyer of classic cinema, literature, and music.

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #12 on: Sep 20, 2018, 11:30 AM »
Let's be honest here, they are still sooooo conservative, look at all the faux interiors that abound on their current fleet.

Or maybe its their owners trying to plunder their historic past!!!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: Design of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #13 on: Sep 20, 2018, 12:36 PM »
Or maybe its their owners trying to plunder their historic past!!!

Methinks that's the main reason.
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2 in her new life, in Dubai, in January 2020 and August 2022.

 

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