KUNGSHOLM, finished in 1966 by John Brown & Company shipyard in Clydebank, was Swedish American Line’s first true transatlantic ocean liner and cruise ship. At the time the largest passenger vessel in Scandinavia, she was endowed with spacious saloons, lounges, a dining hall with a light colored interior in golden brown and blue hues and, of course, an outdoor swimming pool.
Tillberg was appointed as Coordinating Architect of the ship. Swedish American Line travelled the country, looking for an architect who had both the competence and capacity to take on such and highend and allencompassing project. When SAL had announced their approaching visit, the still young designer quickly made phone calls to his colleagues and friends to come in and fill up his studio. When SAL arrived they were pleased to see an office full of busy architects, and the rest is history. Tillberg was later assigned to several other projects for the brand.
When the press was invited onboard at the America Quay in Gothenburg, just before the maiden voyage to New York, all the architects and artists who had worked on her were present. Among his fellow interior architect colleagues, the press met Prince Sigvard Bernadotte and Velt Bethke, who had designed the foremost saloon, and as elsewhere on the ship used finely carved woodwork to create the perfect luxury finish. Artist contributions were plentiful, with glass from Kosta and Orrefors, carpets from Kasthall, ceramic tiles by Lennart Lindqvist, textiles by Lisa Grönwall and Cliff Holden with patterns of flying birds, a tapestry by Lars Gynning, and much more. The cabins sported novelties like airconditioning along with private baths or showers.