The Universe Lounge was unique in comparison to other cruise ship venues because of the need for extraordinary versatility. Its purpose was to provide flexible space with a variety of configurations serving a variety of purposes, including: show lounge, cabaret lounge, fashion show catwalk, live performance stage, lecture theatre, TV studio, cinema, and live cooking demonstration studio (with live TV feeds to shore/cabins). The brief was that the venue should be able to be converted between these differing configurations in the least time possible (approximately 15 minutes) with a minimum of staff, and that the ‘look and feel’ of the venue should be completely different between the configurations.
This was achieved with a system of multiple revolves containing a number of lifts and some ancillary ‘step’ lifts that allowed the size, shape and height of the stage area to be changed quickly and simply. To complement these, a system of automated curtains and screens was installed in the ceiling. The curtains, screens and revolving stage areas allowed the venue to mask and reveal the stage space to best suit the performance.
The lounge is in constant use, switching between these various modes for between 12 and 16 hours a day. The implementation was highly effective, requiring only one technician to manage the set changes.