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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

My View: Titanic Quarter - Part 1 of 2 | Jamie Stirrat

During one week in January at PLACE we hosted Belfast High student Jamie Stirrat as he completed his week of school work experience. At the time Jamie was studying for his A-Levels with a view to studying Architecture at University. During the week on the PLACE Blog Jamie presented his thoughts on our local built environment.

In Jamie's first article he examined the Titanic Quarter to assess how successful it has been as a regeneration project.


Jamie Stirrat

I believe Titanic Quarter is one of the most modern, urban and uplifting places in Belfast. Going there you can find Belfast Met, apartments and hotels and many worldwide businesses such as Microsoft, Citi and IBM. This alone means the Titanic Quarter is already one of the most interesting and ideal places to live and work in Northern Ireland, and it is located in the centre of Belfast.

Gateway Offices, Titanic Quarter. Credit: www.titanic-quarter.com.


We all know of the Titanic which many see as 'the pride of Belfast'. It broke many architectural and engineering boundaries as the largest ship afloat at the time. Can we say the same about the building (Titanic Belfast)? Built 100 years after the sinking of the Titanic, the building is as high as the the Titanic herself at 38 metres high. The building represents the heritage and legacy of the Titanic through nine interactive galleries and an accurate replica of the original staircase. Titanic Belfast cost £97m, £10m of which came from Belfast City Council, but some argue this could have been spent in other ways. What do you think? It's not just Titanic Belfast that is beautifully built: the housing, hotels and offices are a modern visit to the past. I would suggest the contrast between the glazed Gateway Offices and the red stone of the Titanic Business Centre illustrates this point -  a modern visit to the past.


Titanic Business Centre. Credit: www.titanic-quarter.com.

The Titanic Business Centre, located beside Titanic Belfast, occupies the former headquarters of Harland and Wolff. The historic building is currently being renovated to support more offices and whilst being one of the oldest buildings in the area it still mixes well with the modern elements of Titanic Quarter.

Does the urban design of Titanic Quarter do justice to Belfast? I believe it does and it successfully pays tribute to the Titanic herself. Moving through the area you can feel the history that was made there, despite the modern design. What do you think?

Looking at the urban design in Titanic Quarter I believe the area is a top destination to visit simply because of the beauty of the buildings and the historic value represented.

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