Jouin Manku Design and Interior Architecture Studio unveils the spaces conceived for Celebrity Edge, the new luxury cruise ship that embarked for its maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 9th. The studio has designed The Grand Plaza, the epicenter of the ship, the main atrium and the stairway at the service of restaurants and corridors.
Designer Patrick Jouin and architect Sanjit Manku accepted the Celebrity Edge project with a great deal of excitement, enthusiasm as well as the desire to capture the magic of sea voyage. Inspired by the glamorous and adventurous side of pre-war voyages, they tried to transform this experience and adapt it to 21th-century comfort.
The duo of designers is used to embark on every single project with an emotional approach, anticipating the emotions people feel when confronted with the discovery of a new place. Then, they sculpt spaces, define proportions as well as all the elements and materials that will reproduce the same emotions. Developing all the aspects of a place – interior design, decor, upholstery, lighting – the two architects like shaping a total sensorial experience.
As for EDGE, the main goal was to create spaces that were able to remind passengers the fact they are on board a ship, offering the same luxury and comfort levels as a boutique hotel while expressing the extraordinary experience of a cruise.
Their creative proposal is distinguished by the desire to celebrate the work of the builders and welders involved in the ship building. Within a classic-style interior space, steel thin elegant columns are often hidden under layers of materials and veneers that tend to expand proportions. Jouin Manku Design Studio has tried to show them in collaboration with the craftsmen involved into the project in order to find the right structural forms and unveil the ship’s skeleton.
Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku hope that the ship’s language is readable in every space. After all, a ship does not imply a 90-degree angle but a series of curves that enable natural forces to circulate freely; designers have therefore played with this fluidity and let it inspire them. Moreover, they avoided using sharp edges and rigid surfaces in order to make ceilings and walls integrate into the structure harmoniously.
The Grand Plaza
The Grand Plaza is one among the most important convivial areas of the ship. Inspired by the dance halls of classic ocean liners, it can be used at any time during the day, with all passengers moving inside the ship.
That designed by Jouin Manku Design Studio is a comfortable, welcoming, cozy and spectacular space.
Designed as a square surrounded by bars and restaurants, lively both night and day, The Grand Plaza is a place where people can notice and go noticed.
In the middle, a circular bar shines with social activity and energy, encouraging clients to meet and interact with each other.
In the ceiling, a monumental chandelier descends towards guests, evoking sky and stars. As the activity of The Grand Plaza evolves during the day, the chandelier, too, changes appearance. During the day, it is positioned at the top, like a sculpture reflecting natural light but, at sunset, it starts to turn hot orange, illuminating all the space around it. At night, the chandelier beats with colourful pulses like a beating hurt. Its appearance is therefore different at various times of the day.
Around the central bar and the chandelier, the multi-level salon offers a multitude of single or multiple seats that generate a feeling of intimacy inside this wide open space. The wide walkways on the upper deck invite guests to stop and look out to contemplate the activities on the lower deck.
The Grand Plaza is a very open space that passengers can enjoy at various times of the day. In order to preserve the intimacy of the place, three large screens partially dissimulate the central salon, offering appealing views. Designed in collaboration with the experts in architectural embroidery – MTX Studio – screens consist of a series of modules made of metal, leather and fabric.
Seen close up, they look like a goldsmith’s work with facets of various materials that sparkle in the light while their reflex projects discreet plays of light in the volume. Moreover, screens contribute to contain energy within the space, absorbing a part of the noise and guaranteeing intimacy.
All the elements of The Grand Plaza have been designed by Jouin Manku Studio: appliances and lighting systems in close collaboration with the International Observatory, and decor, creating a unique comfortable charming interior. The selection of materials offers a perfect balance between classic and contemporary style: wood, metal, resin, leather and fabrics. Some of them are reflecting, others opaque to improve sound insulation.
Jouin Manku Design Studio has also designed the corridors that lead to the main staircase, also known as The Main Dining Atrium. Situated in the middle of the ship, these spaces remind, once again, passengers that they are in a place that has been shaped by the forces of nature without any right angles.
Walls are covered with textile panels that, offering a good sound insulation, reproduce fish scales, reflect light and reveal the skeleton of the ship, showing inscriptions – sometimes written backwards – on the metal structures used at building time.
The Main Dining Atrium
The main stairwell connects five restaurants on three different levels. White-colored and with sinuous lines, it invites clients to try it and explore every single level. Inspired by the evolution to familiar to unknown, it has been designed to be, beyond its functional aspect, a genuine sensorial experience, accompanying guests in a fluid dancing movement.
The focal point of the stairwell is represented by a brass pendulum suspended above the whole central space below. It evokes the charm of ancient navigation instruments used by sailor over centuries before the advent of satellite navigation. The art installation reminds passengers that they are sailing, even if they can’t perceive rolling inside the ship.
“Every project is an unprecedented dream, a new experience. When the first passengers will climb on board the Celebrity Edge, we hope they will be enchanted by what they feel in the spaces we’ve created and fascinated by the magic of sea voyages” claim Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku.
This article is also available in: Italiano