Jestico + Whiles unveils grand designs for centrepiece P&O Cruises latest ship Iona

    800 534 Hamish Kilburn
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    The well-known architectural firm has revealed its design for the Grand Atrium on British brand P&O Cruises next generation ship, Iona…

    Following a growing demand in hotel interior designers and architects working to revitalise cruise ships, Jestico + Whiles has unveiled the plans to create a soaring triple-height Grand Atrium with unprecedented panoramic views across the ever-changing sea as far as the horizon for P&Os new Cruise ship, Iona.

    The Grand Atrium is the heart of Iona, a lively focal point that encapsulates the spirit of the ship, with spectacular views and natural light. This special space is designed to ‘draw the outside in’ and, accordingly, Jestico + Whiles has made the sea the hero of the space, allowing guests to connect with the seascape around them.

    Despite the challenge of such a large space, we have worked closely with P&O Cruises to make the Grand Atrium harmonious with the separate venues

    The Grand Atrium is a key entertainment space on board Iona and the sea will provide an ever changing backdrop to a wide variety of experiences. From morning coffee as the sun rises, to evening drinks as it sets, the Grand Atrium will be buzzing with light and life. And as day moves into night there will be a seamless transition as Jestico + Whiles employ the most modern lighting techniques to create a warm and intimate atmosphere.

    Image caption: P&O Cruises – Iona – Atrium at night

    “Despite the challenge of such a large space, we have worked closely with P&O Cruises to make the Grand Atrium harmonious with the separate venues, making the space both open and intimate,” explained Jestico + Whiles’ Director, James Dilley. “The refocusing of the guest experiences on the sea is the heart of an entirely new brief. The sea becomes the focus of the triple-height space; the sinuous curves are shaped around it, framing and complementing the views to the outside.”

    We’ve set out to make sure the sea is the star on Iona

    An elegant, arcing staircase of Italian marble with a polished, filigree silver balustrade serves as the centrepiece to the space, evoking the glamour of the iconic cruise ships of the 20th century. Designed as a piece of sculptural architecture, its curving form guides guests on a journey through the decks offering changing views and perspectives of the sea and activity within, encouraging everyone to explore the variety of destinations on board.

    “We’ve set out to make sure the sea is the star on Iona, and the design of the Grand Atrium tells you so much about how special she is going to be,” said P&O Cruises senior vice president, Paul Ludlow. “Balancing intimate spaces with larger social areas, guests will be wowed by the three storey high glass walls and the ever changing view they reveal. From the moment they step onto the staircase, I know guests will be swept away by the beautiful design.”

    Image caption: P&O Cruises – Iona’s Gastro Pub

    Jestico + Whiles has designed P&O Cruises first ever ‘gastro pub’ – The Keel and Cow – on Deck 8, with views over the Grand Atrium and the ocean. The Glass House on Deck 7 will include an impressive wine list and menu curated by award-winning wine expert Olly Smith, wines from around the world are served by the glass. Wine connoisseurs will be well taken care of with a new experience, Cellar Door at the Glass House will offer wine talks, tastings and wine-pairing dinners. Guests can relax with unbeatable views as they watch impromptu aerial and circus performances in the three storey high space.

    On Deck 6 at the Vistas Cafe Bar there is a selection of treats from P&O Cruises Food Hero and master pâtissier Eric Lanlard. The nearby Emerald Bar will offer a stylish living-room feel, with premium cocktails and the buzz of a Covent Garden venue.

    Iona, which will include interior design by Richmond International, is currently being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and will be launched in May 2020. When she enters service, she will hold 5,200 passengers and be the largest cruise ship for the British market.


    Hamish Kilburn / 26.07.2018


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