The Titanic Belfast, which houses a 1,000-seat banqueting suite, opened for business at the weekend.
The world’s largest ever Titanic-themed visitor attraction and Northern Ireland’s largest tourism project, Titanic Belfast has been built on the site where the famous ship was designed and built.
Set over six floors, Titanic Belfast boasts nine interpretive and interactive galleries designed by Event Communications that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic.
Harcourt Developments engaged CivicArts/Eric R Kuhne and Associates as master planners for the Titanic Quarter site in 2005, with the aim of transforming Queen’s Island into a dynamic new waterfront.
Todd Architects were commissioned to begin working with CivicArts in August 2008. The 14,000sqm building took three years to complete – the same length of time as Titanic itself – and is designed with capacity to accommodate up to one million visitors annually.
Eric R Kuhne, Founding Partner of CivicArts/Eric R Kuhne & Associates, said:
“Behind this shimmering crystalline façade, four dynamic ships hulls hold nine galleries. Glass balconies overlook the shipyard, drawing office, slipways, and Belfast city centre. The five-storey central atrium is inspired by the majesty of gangways, gantries, cranes that filled the void between the Titanic & Olympic when they lay side-by-side upon the slipways.”
Paul Crowe, Managing Director of Todd Architects, said: “Developing a building that reflected the ingenuity, ambition and scale of Titanic has been an immense professional challenge, one we are delighted to have met.
“Titanic Belfast has a complicated geometry, providing a challenging build programme and is on course for a BREEAM Excellent status.”
Like RMS Titanic, the project was completed on budget and to a strenuous time constraint which demanded completion in advance of the forthcoming centenary of the ship’s maiden voyage in April 2012.
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