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Titanic Hotel Belfast 5
Titanic Hotel Belfast 4
Titanic Hotel Belfast 3
Titanic Hotel Belfast 2
Titanic Hotel Belfast 1

Category Finalist

2018

Titanic Hotel Belfast

STUDIO / DESIGNER

ADI Studio

Maria Rice

www.adistudio.ie

CATEGORY

Commercial Interiors

Structures and Spaces

CONTRIBUTORS

Maria Rice, Leona Brolan (designer) Christopher Heaney (Photographs)

Design Challenge and Design Ideas

As a Grade II listed building, the Harland &Wolff Headquarter & Drawing Offices house the Titanic Hotel Belfast & play an important role in the architectural and socio-economic history of Belfast. The Headquarter buildings were left abandoned in the 1980’s and were left to ruin until 2016, when the initial phases of the current refurbishment commenced. One of the big challenges as the appointed interior designers was working with a collection of buildings dating from 1885 right through to the new additions and to design a scheme that created a flow from one space to another allowing continuity whilst still retaining interior elements true to its time. We felt a duty to be as honest as possible to the original buildings when choosing finishes for the various rooms. A great number of authentic artifacts were at our disposal and the desire was to integrate as many as possible into the interiors scheme.

How the brief was fulfilled

The hotel has been described as the most authentic Titanic Hotel in the world. Not because it was designed to reflect a first class liner, but because of the number of genuine Harland & Wolff and White Star Line artifacts integrated within the refurbishment. Woven into the fabric of the interior scheme of the hotel are original finishes and architectural details embodying the former use and history of the buildings which house the new hotel. The hotel building plays a major role in the overall Harland & Wolff story, nestled right beside the Worlds Best Tourist Attraction, Titanic Belfast Exhibition. A great number of artifacts were at our disposal to integrate into the interior finishes and fixed furniture. One such artifact were Villeroy and Boch octagonal tiles circa 1900, which were the same used on the Titanic & Olympic ship liners, discovered in the building prior to refurbishment and are now utilized on the front of the bar counter. Interpretation panels have been placed around the hotel highlighting the various original pieces to the hotel guests. Another original artifact repurposed were the mahogany and glass screens which were located on the first floor of the offices and designed into the hotel reception on the Ground floor as a striking backdrop to the reception desk. Vinyl floor tiles, used throughout the corridors when in use as H&W offices in the early 1900’s, were unfortunately damaged beyond repair and by working closely with the Conservation Architects, we arranged for them to be reproduced specifically for the project. These vinyl tiles also feature as the floor finishes in the upper bedroom floors in the hotel, this connects the Ground and upper floors, linking old with new. As part of the huge art package, we introduced rare passenger portraits and biographies, White Star ephemera, Art Deco travel posters and rigging plans giving a flavour of the ‘Gilded Age’ of travel. A huge amount of local Belfast families worked in Harland & Wolff in it’s heyday of shipbuilding, and these people have fond memories of family members working for the company. As well as the integration of numerous H&W artifacts, local families donated family heirlooms,furniture and artifacts which are now securely displayed cleverly within bespoke furniture in the throughout the hotel.

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