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PROJECT / TITANIC BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND


THE FIT OUT - The large showcase incorporates fibre-optics to highlight various parts and components of the replica ship. Light Projects Toucan 2 track-mounted spotlights are used for surrounding graphics.


sioned by Harcourt Construction to provide lighting designs for all public assessable spaces within and around Titanic Belfast fol- lowing two separate tenders for the interior and exterior of the building. This included the main atrium, circulation spaces, ban- queting and pre-function spaces, permanent exhibition spaces, the temporary gallery, the lifts, restrooms, external plaza and the building façades.


Michael Grubb, who was the project leader for SVA, comments: “The centenary of the launch of the Titanic meant that there was an immovable deadline for its completion. It was therefore essential to develop a lighting strategy for the whole building that would guide decisions throughout the design process.” A set of general lighting principles was agreed to ensure that the lighting was coor- dinated both in terms of aesthetics and of lighting technologies. These were to: • create atmosphere;


• reflect and support the narrative of the Titanic story;


• help develop a sense of identity for the


building and its surrounding spaces; • be energy-efficient, sustainable and easy to maintain. “Titanic Belfast offers incredible visual appeal and is already a hugely iconic piece of architecture for Belfast by day and by night,” Grubb continues. “A theatrical use of light and shadows and colour tempera- ture emphasises the form and materials of the building.”


The lighting entices visitors through the building; it is playful and purposeful to ensure that there is always a direct link be- tween the lit environment and the narrative of the Titanic story. Low levels of lighting and variations in colour temperature are used to vary the atmosphere and alter the visitors’ experience of feel and environ- ment. For example, the basement levels are lit with cold white light while banqueting at the top is warmer and more welcoming. The building’s glazed areas provide varying amounts of daylight supported by artificial lighting to create a sophisticated environ- ment that allows clear vistas through the building and aids orientation. The building


is transformed after dusk when the atrium and internal spaces rely solely on artificial light, with lit scenes that have been pro- grammed to create the feeling of an active environment. The wide use of LED together with metal halide and fluorescent lamp types ensure that maintenance is reduced to a minimum.


The luminaires within the atrium, café, retail and the banqueting suite, where pos- sible, are incorporated within the building fabric. Luminaires within the exhibition spaces were less problematic due to the black box environment that they inhabit but even so all luminaires are hidden among the structural beams at high level. The lighting is divided into zones (Galleries, Atrium and Circulations spaces, etc) with centralised control and additional local control in the Banqueting and Pre-Function spaces. The journey through the Titanic building involves a number of key stages, each of which required specific methods of lighting to create the appropriate environment for the visitor. Lighting is used to create a consistent experience, which joins up all


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