'Transformational' space on a cruise ship
As cruise ships get larger, how do ship designers find ways to distribute passengers throughout the ship and not bunched at a few headline attractions?
Maximizing space so that it accommodates different activities is starting to get more thought.
Efforts at several cruise lines involve creating spaces with different activities for night and day. Designers refer to “transformational space,” and a prime example will be Two70Degrees on Royal Caribbean International’s coming Quantum of the Seas.
The space is an aft lounge with a three-deck-high wall of windows that wrap the stern of the ship, giving passengers a 270-degree view of the fantail, the wake and the ocean beyond.
For day use, Two70Degrees will resemble a grand den, with a library, an activities room, a gourmet market, a bar and nested seating zones that occupy terraces cascading from the entry to the floor.
At twilight, the lighting in the room will begin to change, and ambient music will clue guests that something is about to happen. Blackout screens descend to cover the glass, and fourteen hidden devices will use a new technology called 3D Mapping Projection to throw startling three-dimensional images across the curved blackout surface.
The scene can be anything from a jungle to a Spanish galleon to the daytime exterior view from the ship, said Tim Magill, a partner in the California firm of 5+Design, which helped create the room.
To date the technology has been mostly used to stage elaborate promotions on the sides of buildings, such as a 2010 installation on the side of New York’s Guggenheim Museum.
On the Quantum, the screens will be used to bring a feeling of outdoors inside the ship, expanding its visual volume, Magill said.
In front of the screens, entertainers will descend on apparatus from the ceiling or ascend through the floor on hydraulic platforms.
The next morning, like Cinderella’s carriage, the space will be a lounge with a view of the sea.
“If we can make the spaces transform over time through the cruise,” said Magill, “then it provides more variety, more excitement, more things for the guest to do.”