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Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Presents L’Observatoire, a New Carriage Designed by Artist JR

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is proud to present L’Observatoire, an exclusive sleeper carriage with interiors conceptualised and designed by world-acclaimed artist JR. Joining the rake in 2025, this private carriage is the first to be designed by an artist on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and will become the most spacious accommodation type onboard the train.

The carriage interiors unfold through different environments where JR injected a level of detail never seen before: a bedroom with double bed, an ensuite bathroom, wardrobe, reclining day bed, lounge area, library with book selection by French publisher Gallimard, and secret tearoom with fireplace. Guests are encouraged to explore these worlds of incredible detail, while the rounded windows and oculus skylight on the ceiling allow them to engage with the exterior landscapes of Europe.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is formed by 17 carriages, built in the 1920s and 1930s. At that time, the most acclaimed designers and exponents of the Art Deco movement, like René Prou and René Lalique (who created the train’s iconic ‘tulip lamp’ and the glass panelling of the Côte d’Azur restaurant car), were commissioned to decorate these historic carriages. Almost a century later, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express chooses leading artist JR to infuse new life into one of its original carriages, Sleeping Car 3553, through a meticulous restoration of the interiors.

A task for a true visionary, JR used artisanal century-old techniques to preserve the train’s look and feel. At the same time, he was able to create something powerfully immersive, an artwork in motion that invites guests to embrace observation, curiosity, adventure and listening – all core tenets of the artist’s universe.

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