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Titanic Quarter, Belfast, UK

Mott MacDonald is helping to transform former shipbuilding yards in Belfast as part of a spectacular £7B regeneration programme designed to celebrate the city’s maritime heritage.

External building view against sunset reflected in water
Titanic Belfast Visitor Centre
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Titanic Belfast Visitor Centre Located at the head of the Harland & Wolff slipways where the RMS Titanic was constructed, the £97M Titanic Belfast visitor centre - for which we were lenders' technical advisor - stands more than 10 storeys high and is the centrepiece of the waterfront regeneration programme.
Image credit Titanic Belfast

Belfast’s waterfront development is turning a brownfield site into business, leisure and education facilities and more than 7500 apartments.

The development, the third-largest regeneration project in Europe, is expected to generate 25,000 jobs over the next 15 years.

Projects include a:

  • World class visitor attraction, for which we were lenders' technical advisor, that recounts the story of the ill-fated RMS Titanic.
  • New campus for Belfast Metropolitan College, for which we provided structural, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering.

The Titanic visitor attraction has had a remarkable impact on the city's economy by generating £54M in local tourist revenue in its first year alone.

Titanic Belfast visitor centre

Based at the head of the Harland & Wolff slipways where the RMS Titanic was constructed, the £97M Titanic Belfast visitor centre stands over 10 storeys high as the centrepiece of the regeneration programme. We were lenders’ technical advisor for the multi-award winning project, which was completed in 2012 to mark the centenary of the ship’s maiden voyage.

The 14,000sq m venue incorporates exhibition space comprising five main galleries, an interactive ‘underwater’ centre, recreations of the ship’s decks and cabins and a banqueting suite with capacity for more than 1000 people. Siting the building at the head of the slipway where the ship was built more than a century ago resonates powerfully with all who visit – further evidenced in the £54M in local tourist revenue the attraction has generated in its first year alone.

The design reflects the maritime theme. The façade leans out at angles of up to 25° and is clad in 3000 anodised aluminium sheets folded into complicated asymmetrical shapes. Two thirds of the panels are unique to achieve a truly random effect and the panels are similar in size to those used to build the Titanic’s hull.

The project won the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Design and Innovation Award 2013 and several awards for its contribution to the area’s tourism. Our intimate knowledge of the site and activities on the adjacent plot were vital to steering this project to success.

Siting the building at the head of the slipway where the ship was built more than a century ago resonates powerfully with all who visit – further evidenced in the £54M in local tourist revenue the attraction has generated in its first year alone.

Belfast Metropolitan College

The Belfast Metropolitan College is the largest provider of further and higher education in Northern Ireland. To support its move to a new home in the Titanic Quarter, we provided all civil, structural and building services engineering for a new £44M, 22,000sq m campus.

Designed to cater for 2500 students, the top quality facilities include science and technology laboratories, digital infrastructure and as well as provision for catering, hospitality and fashion.

The steel framed building comprises a pair of cranked ‘arms’ embracing an inner courtyard. Vertical circulation, services and sanitary facilities have been clustered around the junctions between the blocks.

Each arm has four storeys of teaching accommodation, linked by a five-storey triangular atrium to the south that resembles a ship’s prow and that forms the building’s main entrance. The northern end of the structure is linked by three footbridges spanning the access route into the site’s basement car park.

We adapted our design to accommodate a late request from the client for 300 parking spaces under the building, achieved cost-effectively using innovative temporary works solutions and by changing the structure from concrete to steel. Our advanced building energy modelling at early design stages, lifecycle analysis of services and a range of energy efficiency measures helped achieve award-winning sustainability performance.

night shot of part of the college building
Belfast Metropolitan College
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Belfast Metropolitan College Designed to cater for 2500 students, the top quality facilities include science and technology laboratories, digital infrastructure and provision for catering, hospitality and fashion.
Image credit Todd Architects
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