Iconic Contender for Excellence Awards: Engineering Project of 2012
25 October 2012 | 3 min read
Standing as the centrepiece of Europe’s largest ever urban waterfront regeneration: Titanic Belfast. RPS' iconic entry for Engineers Ireland’s Excellence Award for Engineering Project of the Year.
It is one of just seven high-profile schemes entered for Engineers Ireland’s Excellence Award for Engineering Project of the Year 2012 - which will crown the project voted for by the public for the positive benefits and influence it brings not only to the local community, but also to wider society.
In the first ten days of opening alone, the Titanic Building attracted 40,000 visitors. Standing as the centrepiece of Europe’s largest ever urban waterfront regeneration: the Titanic Quarter development, it covers an impressive 14,000m2 and has so far employed over 700 people - almost entirely Northern Ireland people, and many from Belfast itself.
Overall, the Titanic Quarter is creating around 25,000 jobs between 2010 and 2025 - forwards - a similar equivalent to the numbers employed by the shipyard at its peak, and not seen since the 1940s.
At 38m high - the same height as the Titanic’s hull, the crystalline building is the stunning gateway to the Titanic Experience: engaging the visitor in a sensitive and comprehensive journey through Belfast’s city and shipyard from the early 1900s; through a first-of-its-kind ride around the ship’s construction using full-scale replicas; lavish fully fitted-out recreations of the Titanic including her engine rooms, saloons, cabins, restaurant and grand staircase; an underwater evocation of the disaster; and a final 3-dimensional reveal of the wreck - seemingly immediately beneath the visitors’ feet.
The Experience travels through nine galleries and includes a full museum of photojournalism, artefacts, remnants and memories. Visitors are immersed and engaged with their surroundings using the full cinematic and all-enveloping technology of HD video-projection, 5.1 multi-channel acoustics, full-scale interactive display screens and high-quality, realistic CGI effects - providing an all-encompassing sensory stimulation of sights and sounds and smells.
RPS has been closely involved with the Titanic Quarter project and was appointed to lead engineering services for the development in 2005. We have been involved with the Titanic Belfast building since 2007.
"It is the largest and most intricate Titanic exhibition worldwide, and, as her birthplace, it was essential for us to ensure we provided the full picture of her story: her background and construction, through not only the final disaster, but also the impacts that that had and their aftermath, presenting what is now an international legend in the true representation, without any neglect to what Titanic means to Belfast and our people: then, now and for future generations. It is a beautiful, complex and poignant relationship, and we hope we have come as close as is possible to showing it with the deserved honour and respect, for the community, and all those who visit the Titanic Project," explains Michael Shaw, RPS Director leading the civil, structural and fire engineering for the project.
"Our engineering team are very proud to have been a part of this incredible experience, seeing the completion of such a major project within an absolutely crucial time limit to ensure it was open in time for the centenary. It is extremely satisfying to see the enthusiastic reception the project has received - reflected in the continuing exceptional visitor footfall and in a number of awards and accolades, and we hope it will continue to attract further well-deserved recognitions."
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