Royal Yacht Britannia restaurant designed by 442

Edinburgh-based 442 Design has created the new £1.5m Royal Deck Restaurant on board the Royal Yacht Britannia, which is moored in Leith.

442 managing director David Dunn says the consultancy was appointed directly to the job about a year ago.

Dunn says the consultancy’s previous work at Edinburgh tourist attraction Our Dynamic Earth had seen them dealing with complicated projects for glass walls, adding ‘there weren’t many folk out there with our experience’.

Britannia has been operating as a tourist attraction in Leith since it was decommissioned in 1997, and 442 was tasked to create a restaurant – the first new addition since the ship was built in the 1950s – which could cater for corporate events and the general public.

The new space has been created by a slim steel truss which frames glass walls and supports a timber-panelled ceiling, A tensile fabric canopy stretches over the structure, replicating the original awning that would have been in place on the Royal Deck when the Queen was entertaining on board.

Dunn says the consultancy took inspiration from photographs of the Britannia in the Bahamas in the 1950s, adding ‘unfortunately Leith isn’t the Bahamas, so we couldn’t have an open top deck’.

Kevin Rettie, creative director of interiors at 442 Design, says, ‘This was a challenging and highly prestigious project to work on.

‘We hope we have achieved the balance between adding something striking and elegant with a unique atmosphere and importantly something that complements the original design.’

Bob Downie, chief executive of the Royal Yacht Britannia, says, ‘This is a major and very exciting development; bringing the Royal Deck back into use embraces Britannia’s past in order to preserve a future for others to enjoy. The team at 442 were excellent throughout the project.’

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