The Loft, the social area for Virgin Atlantic Airways’ new A350 has been created by AIM Altitude.
Innovative engineering solutions nabled AIM Altitude to create a centre section of monuments with an independent ceiling, which is attached to the monuments themselves, and not to the aircraft structure. The ceiling design separates the area into two zones: an intimate bar area, and a spacious lounge.
The lounge seating has been designed and engineered to allow passengers to sit together and interact face-to-face at an effectively-placed cocktail table.
Ryan Buckmaster, programme manager for AIM Altitude, said: “For its Airbus A350, Virgin Atlantic wanted to create a new social space for passengers. Having become known for their vibrant on-board bars, they wanted to expand the feature into a bespoke lounge environment, to enhance the social aspect of the flight and include unique exotic materials to bring the wow factor when boarding.”
The concept, collaboratively designed by Virgin Atlantic and Factory Design, required the use of innovative materials and finishes, including a wide range of multi-paint systems, multiple custom-made Isovolta laminates, hard black anodised bar surfaces, black nickel and gold plating. A new Boltaron material was specially designed for the project with a feature pattern interlayered between transparent material creating a window design that allows passengers to see the silhouette of the activity in the social area.
Electrical elements include a new 32-inch monitor with USBs, AC outlets and Bluetooth headsets. AIM Altitude also created a bespoke LED RGB-W lighting system and custom full-height vertical doors and latches.
There will be seven ship-sets in total, each with lounge units, a preparation area for crew, a wardrobe and a stowage unit. The design, engineering and manufacture all took place at AIM Altitude Cabin Interiors in the UK.