Titanic Signature Project refloated..

Pending the [failed] bid for £25million of lottery funding, in May 2007 the Northern Ireland Executive had agreed to provide £32.5million of the then £90million Titanic Quarter Signature Project [pictured above]. But nevermind, the NI Executive have just upped their our contribution to £43.5million of the now £97million cost.. From the BBC report

The rest of the £53m funding will come from the Belfast Harbour Commissioners, Belfast City Council and private developers.

Adds According to the Titanic Quarter Development website

The state-of-the-art building, designed by leading international architects and designers will include a ‘Titanic Experience’ exhibition, a ‘Flying Theatre’ which allows visitors a birds eye view across Northern Ireland, a Titanic-themed banqueting suite and a community arts facility for local exhibitions, performances and conferences.

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  • niall

    the floundering of the Titanic quarter and hopefully a stigmatisation of the attempted branding of the city in that way may actually be a bonus of the credit crunch.

    The boat sank and killed lots of people. The fact that Belfast men built it should be whispered not celebrated.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    It would be great to see all this materialise. If that main building of the proposal is built, it will make a great focal point and be a superb contemporary piece of architecture for Belfast city. It would definitely give anything designed by Frank Gehry, Santiago Calatrava, Lord Noman Foster etc…a run for their money.

    (The former RTE presenter Mike Murphy is a part of Harcourt Properties, the main Dublin based property development team who have acquired most of the land here in the Titanic quarter).

    BTW, world renowned English architect Lord Norman Foster has designed U2’s striking new skyscraper tower for Dublin’s docklands which has unfortunately been put on hold for the moment due to the credit crunch 🙁

  • Alan

    The boat was sunk – it didn’t sink of it’s own accord.

    Titanic is a world brand that we should claim. It was a thing of grace and beauty that is now tinged with tragedy. The fact that Belfast people built it should be proclaimed and celebrated.

    The awe in which the elegance and finery of the ship is held is testament to the skills of our local people.

  • It looks a bit like an iceberg to me – is that what it’s supposed to resemble?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    The prow of a ship (and an iceberg) all rolled into one!

  • Brian Walker

    This centrepiece construction looks impressive. Indeed Greragoir it’s bit like Gehry’s Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.http://www.archiplanet.org/buildings/Guggenheim_Bilbao.html. But the Titanic salvage artefacts which lie me you may have seen in London are in Florida.http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2060. Pete, what are they going to put in this building?

  • veritas

    a complete waste of our money.

  • credit crunch

    What a complete waste of money this Titanic nonsense is.

    I see Marty O’Millions has gotten in on the act and launched some pie-in-the-sky proposal for west Belfast now as well. The launch was attended by the local MP, Gerry I-need-a-hobby Adams, who has talked of lots of things for west Belfast, and the retention of a few church buildings for the greater Shankill area.
    He has a cheek even mentioning the Shankill, a part of his constituency he has never set foot in, or ever attempted to bring a single job to.

  • credit crunch

    “Indeed Greragoir it’s bit like Gehry’s Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.http://www.archiplanet.org/buildings/Guggenheim_Bilbao.html.”

    Funny that Bri, Marty O’Millions said exactly the same thing. You weren’t listening were you?

  • Pete Baker

    Brian

    According to the Titanic Quarter Development website [I’ll add the link in the original post]

    The state-of-the-art building, designed by leading international architects and designers will include a ‘Titanic Experience’ exhibition, a ‘Flying Theatre’ which allows visitors a birds eye view across Northern Ireland, a Titanic-themed banqueting suite and a community arts facility for local exhibitions, performances and conferences.

  • Ann

    Gerry I-need-a-hobby Adams, who has talked of lots of things for west Belfast

    Wheres he going to get the land to build anything? There isn’t any, everywhere is built up. As for the heel and ankle, you didn’t fall for the old blarney that Gerry was there for all the people did you?

    He’s in there for himself and his cronies and jobs for the boys…..

  • The Devil

    The £90 million should be put to better use, the deliberate wasting of money of this magnitude is a crime and the wasters should be prosecuted in court.

    The squalor that most of the passengers were presented with upon boarding compared to the splender for a priviledged few is something to be ashamed of and best left at the bottom of the ocean, not paraded for any dumb assed tourist with too much money and not enough sense.

    Anyone living today that is caught up in the romance of the Titanic should head to Hollywood for it is there the story of Titanic in all it’s romantic glory exists because it was there it was created……

    Titanic was built here… that’s it’s only connection to Belfast

    The workers worked in unsafe conditions
    The workers worked grotesque hours for a pitance
    Catholics working on the ship were attacked
    The Titanic was a coffin ship with frills

    There was never enough lifeboats in the case of a collision, this was by design not by accident and not as the myth indicates because the ship was unsinkable, that was bollox, it was because in the event of a sinking the poor were to be kept locked below decks until the rich had left the ship in the only lifeboats.

    So I say fuck the Titanic, fuck the Titanic quarter and fuck any arsehole who wastes public money on romantic Hollywood bollox.

  • Rapunsel

    When we have everyone falling overthemselves to be congratulatory on this project , where are the critics. I heard no sceptics on BBC this morning ( apart from Dawn Purvis) and I haven’t seen or heard a single journalist question the assumptions behind the proposedd success of the project

  • Ann

    Go on devil, tell us how you really feel 🙂

  • As I say on my own blog, the story of the Titanic Quarter and the support for it from the Dublin Government funded Investment Fund contrasts sharply with that of the vision shown in the West Belfast and Greater Shankill plan. There doesn’t appear to be any state funding behind this plan yet – and yet I believe it will have a far greater impact than yet another building, no matter how inspired it is by the Guggenheim in Bilbao, in east Belfast, home of iKea, Harland and Wolff and the First Minister.

    It’s also interesting to note that the Irish language features on the enterprise council website – http://www.enterprisecouncil.org – which is remarkable and praiseworthy [in my view] given that the Enterprise Council consists of representatives from the Shankill. Obviously these representatives are more enlightened than their political representatives….

  • The Devil

    I could Ann but i’ve taken the chill pills so i had to be reserved

  • George

    400,000 visitors a year so it will be nearly as popular as the Giant’s Causeway.

    The Titanic centenary is in 2012 and the project will be up and running in time for it.

    It will only cost 97 million.

    The people living in the surrounding area will benefit from this.

    If you believe all of those, you’ll believe anything.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    The Devil is in the detail, but I agree here with the Devil himself here!

    Naming a development after such a disaster with many lives lost is rather bad taste and frankly bloody awful as well as the persistant contrived cosy nostalgia about the ship!

    Putting it into perspective, imagine the ‘The Space Shuttle Colombia Theme Ride’ or the ‘Holocaust Theme Park’ etc….

    But still, it would be good to see a modern landmark and some contemporary architecture for Belfast. The Victorians were perhaps the last people to make such an architectural contribution to the city.

  • willis

    Anybody seen the map for the Rapid Transit Bus?

    Not this one.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7753950.stm

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Probably if they called it after the Titanic’s sister ship the Britannic, it might be more favourable…ahem! Alas, unfortunately it didn’t become notorious!

    The Britannic Quarter!

  • White Elephant.

    Complete and uter waste of public money. Scrap it now before it goes any further.

  • eranu

    any titanic display that doesnt include a replica of the ship (atleast partically) will be a disappointment. displays of pictures and artefacts can be found elsewhere and almost certainly done better than belfast could manage. considering its in the shipyard that built the real thing, if i was a foreign tourist i would be expecting to see the ship rebuilt. maybe not all of it, but atleast something i could walk into. maybe an externally complete shell with a few rooms inside. the fancy staircase and ball room, a few cabins etc. the link with belfast is construction, not hosting a museum like display which could be found anywhere.
    im sure the plans exist somewhere and we have a ship building workforce not doing too much. im sure a replica shell could be built with enough internal rooms to make a tourist walkthrough a genuinely unique experience. perhaps it could be made into our very own floating hotel like the QE2 will be in dubai.
    look at the picture of the building they want to do. it could be a pointy edged building anywhere in the world. why would anyone come to belfast to see that?

    cheerio.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    …or even the ‘Olympic Quarter’ ….for the 2012 Olympics and named after the Titanic’s other sister ship!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “perhaps it could be made into our very own floating hotel like the QE2 will be in dubai.”

    ….with an added authentic sinking feeling after dinner!

    Definitely one for the tourists!

  • Peat Blog

    I wonder if this is a cunning plan to help sell more apartments?

  • Peat Blog

    The ironic thing is that the new “white star” shaped structure will actually dwarf one of the last surving and authentic reminders of the era of great ship building in Belfast, i.e. the drawing office and administration block.

    They’ve already completed the suffocating job with the pump house and Thompson dock.

    But hey, when did we ever truly respect our heritage…

  • Rory

    A ‘Titanic experience? Now I wonder what form that will take.

    Perhaps they could employ some demobbed RIR men with experience in Iraq and Afghanistan to treat less well off visitors to a ‘waterboarding’ thrill in order to replicate the feeling of drowning. Those who can afford to buy Premium Gold Tickets can be given a nice little ride round the docks in an air-conditioned life-boat to replicate the annoyance of being saved in an unheated craft in chilly conditions. We could also generate income by having a franchise for a furriers to supply Premium customers with authentic period dress.

    We could also employ a different flute band each evening to stoically play Nearer My God to Thee as they are lowered gently under the water. This would have the bonus effect of reducing the possibilities for occasions of tension during the marching season as the availability of bands ‘dried up’, so to speak.

    There may be a job for me here as Artistic Director. What do ye think?

  • Greenflag

    Panis et Circenses time again folks . Distraction is yer only man .

    Act 1 – Assembly Resurrection
    Act 2 – Titanic Resurrection
    Act 3 – Maze Stadium ?
    Act 4 – ????

    Let’s face it Belfast can do with all the tourist attractions it can get or fabricate . Sounds like a good idea to me – as long as they don’t in the course of building construction use the same rivet manufacturer who supplied the Titanic 😉

  • Ulsters my homeland

    it looks like frig all. I could do better with my eyes closed.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    ….and the structure has no emotional significance to the titanic, so in that respect, the building will fail.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    it looks as if the building is dictated by the politics of Belfast, where the Titanic Signature Project points towards (N,S,E+W Belfast). This is basic design stuff, there’s no or little creativity involved in such projects, which makes me think the idea came from Stormont and not the agencies involved.

  • Ann

    I agree with horseman, it’s a big white elephant.

  • The Devil

    Rory just had a fab idea,

    Rory you can be artistic director
    Credit crunch can be the accountant
    Niall and Greagoir O Frainclin can be promotional managers
    Horseman can do transport

    oh and i’ll do the customer complaint dept

    (bound to be a hit)

  • Newton Emerson

    The “Flying Theatre” looks like a cross between the W5 IMAX and the Carrickfergus Knight Ride, and what a great success they were.
    I hate to piss on this (we have to do something before the centenary, plus I’d rather see my money spent on concrete than commissioners). But the fact is that nothing less than some kind of replica ship will have any tourist pull at all.
    A conference centre, restaurant and audio-visual exhibit? Even locals won’t get on the bendy-bus (sorry, “tram”) to visit that more than once for a gawk.

  • The Raven

    “400,000 visitors a year so it will be nearly as popular as the Giant’s Causeway.”

    Little known interesting thing, factfans – one of Northern Ireland’s most visited attractions is the Roe Valley Country Park.

    350,000 audited visitors last year, IF I picked that up correctly.

    Strangely, £90m hasn’t ever been spent on it.

  • Hbf

    This thread has been mainly negative so far. I’m not exactly a supporter of this project but I can at least see some benefits. Right now, the titanic quarter is a big empty wasteland, but in the near future there will be a lot of development going on. Without landmarks like this, the area could easily become another bland district full of flats and business parks. The attractions and sights there already would easily be forgotten about. This signature project could become a focal point which would bring people in to the area and get them interested in the quarter.
    It clearly costs a lot of money, but remember that some of that money will be paying the salaries of planners and builders and the like, and in theory it will bring some money in to the area in the long term. Plus, it would be great for Belfast to have some modern, interesting archetecture.
    For what it’s worth, I also want to say that the titanic’s sinking is no reason not to want to celebrate our links with the ship. The thing was massive at the time and it left a big mark on the city. Why try to play that down?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Hbf, is the Titanic Signature Project something you would support?

  • The Raven

    I note this from the Beeb, about aspirations in the West of the City:

    “Council member Dr Mark Brotherson said there were some multi-millionaires in west Belfast and greater Shankill who wanted to develop the area.

    “We have our own entrepreneurs who are willing to invest a lot of money in the area,” he said.

    “We just need support from the public sector in terms of planning and moving things forward.”

    This, the same public sector being blasted on here for wasting money on projects such as that above? I really wish people would make up their minds….

    HBF wrote: “Without landmarks like this, the area could easily become another bland district full of flats and business parks.”

    Even WITH landmarks like this, this is all it will end up being anyway. I refer to the bland glass and steel facing you as you drive round to the (equally bland) Odyssey.

    I refer you also to the “waterfront” in Derry City, which despite the best (I use the word advisedly) efforts of ILEX, has become – yes you guessed it – another long dull vista of glass and steel, topped off nicely by the civic dullness of Council offices.

  • dunreavynomore

    I’m with the devil and his ‘white elephant’ brigade. In the interest of the environment these white elephants should be kept in their own homeland be it cherry valley or ever so humble.

  • Dave

    I concur with The Devil’s sentiments.

    By the way, it is now regarded as an appalling cliché to model the design of a building that is located by the sea on iconic oceanic images, e.g. sails, shells, waves, and in this dreadful example of building design, the bow of a ship.

  • Rory

    An audio-visual unit – great! It might then prove to be almost as popular as St Patrick’s Centre in Downpatrick which is collecting cobwebs at such a rate of knots (to employ a nautical term appropriate to the discussion) that there are suggestions that it might be converted into a horror experience/therapy centre for arachnaphobes.

  • Nomad

    Jeez guys!

    I’ll be the first to admit I can be a little over critical of things sometimes (it’s easy!) but I don’t have a huge problem with this…

    £43.5million isn’t a huge amount of money in the budget- especially seeing as how our pol’s are begging it from London so frequently.

    It’s also refreshing to see the NI govt. doing what the rest of the world is doing right now and giving a little fiscal stimulus to the economy. We’re scheduled to come out of recession mid 2009 so it seems like planting a few landmarks in the otherwise fairly plain [to tourists] Belfast is pretty sensible. Where is our U2 Tower equivalent? When Dublin is trouncing Belfast *this* much, perhaps the govt should lend a hand. 😉

    Times are hard, but right now this is just the sort of thing that is needed so we don’t have too many more bankrupctys to celebrate. And yes, it does look kind of like the Titanic crashing into an iceberg. But a really pretty shiny iceburg!

  • Damian O’Loan

    Investing close to £100m of public money, in one form or another, in tourism means a large investment is also being placed in the long-term stability of the institutions. I would hope the parties consider this when they meet the next difficulty. At the moment, there is no evidence that they have dealt with the core of the issue – how much and what kind of expression each side will allow the other.

    That said, this has great potential in evolving Belfast’s image as an investment location. As does the West Belfast Irish-language area, whose detrators often consider as money being wasted on Catholics instead of a viable investment with added value for the local population. Its discussion in the same meeting has had less attention.

    Its also interesting that the community centre is for “local” events. If this only includes unionist East Belfast, it’ll send out the wrong signals to visitors, so I’d hope that’s not what’s meant. Likewise, the employment created will have to be equality-proofed to ensure the infamous aspect of the old shipyards’ memory is updated. With better East-West transport it could be good all round, and in stable conditions I’d have thought a good investment.

    Agreed on the need for a replica too, or how about building one and putting it in the water somewhere near the Giant’s Causeway?

  • Hbf

    Ulsters my homeland,

    seriously, I’m not well informed enough to be able to say whether or not the project is a good thing. So I’m not a supporter, no. I just thought that a lot of people in here were making a real effort to slag it off without actually thinking about the other side to the argument. Sorry if my post made you think I’m a fan or something, I have the same reasons to be sceptical about it as everyone else.

    Damian,

    I would hate for the whole thing to become sectarian so I argee with you about that. But remember east Belfast isn’t all unionist.

  • The Devil

    Ok i’ve got the answer here to all this landmark stuff,

    Titanic coffin ship £90 million
    Bloody Sunday legal gravy train £200 million
    Stormont MLA’s £13 million
    St Annes pin £800,000
    West-link international swim centre £104 million
    Giants Causeway durex dump site £21 million
    Grants for joyriders/paramilitaries/burglars £24 million

    okay now what we should do is to use the site on the Titanic quarter and dig the deepest hole in the world in honour of our wonderful grants, brain-storms, communitity projects, business initatives, quangos, consultancies, and general wank-off waste that is our world famous trademark

    we could call it “the not quite bottomless centre”

    hell it’s a brand, we could market it

  • Damian O’Loan

    Hbf

    Certainly not, and also it could be at least all Belfast, given it’s a flagship project. It’d be a good way to open up some lesser-known parts.

  • fri/sat drinker

    Devil lol

  • Modernist

    Let me see Belfast is marketing itself using a ship that sank on its first voyage resulting hundreds of people getting killed. Belfast also names an airport after a alcoholic wife beater. Not to forget all the paramilitary murals tours. Is there anything that Belfast could market to tourists that isnt marred by people getting killed or violence? Im just wondering or is that all Belfast has to offer

  • willis

    Modernist

    This shuold make you proud.

    Is this the best album ever made?

    On its release in 1968 Van Morrison’s second album, Astral Weeks, baffled both the public and his record company. Now, 40 years later, it’s regarded as unique – a mystical, dream-like blend of spontaneous blues, jazz and folk. And Van himself is finally ready to play it live…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/nov/02/vanmorrison-popandrock

  • John Furlong’s Ceylon

    Do not worry. If it is a White Elephant the police will not let it “parade”.

  • dunreavynomore

    John Furlongs Ceylon

    And they would be right even though white elephants are a long way from being an endangered species! I have a notion to start a campaign of ‘say no to white elephants’. What colour should our wrisband, lapel sticker and general material be? Has anyone written a book yet on ‘badges of our wee 6 counties?’

  • NOT A TITANORAK

    Posted by Peat Blog on Nov 28, 2008 @ 05:07 PM

    The ironic thing is that the new “white star” shaped structure will actually dwarf one of the last surving and authentic reminders of the era of great ship building in Belfast, i.e. the drawing office and administration block.

    They’ve already completed the suffocating job with the pump house and Thompson dock.

    But hey, when did we ever truly respect our heritage…

    WE HAVE DRAWING OFFICES, THOMPSON PUMP-HOUSE AND COCK AND NOMADIC YET SPENDING NOTHING ON THESE WHICH COULD PROVIDE BELFAST WITH SOMETHING UNIQUE AGAINST REST OF WORLD WITH BIGGER AND BETTER TITANIC ATTRACTIONS

    BY THE WAY PEAT WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY SUFFOCATING JOB TO PUMP-HOUSE. IT USED TO BE A MESS BT NOW TIDIED UP, INTERPRETATION IN PLACE AND THE ONLY PART OF TITANIC’S HERITAGE OPEN. PERSONALLY I THINK THE SCIENCE PARK ARE TO BE COMMENDED IN WHAT THEY HAVE DONE.

  • NOT A TITANORAK

    Posted by Peat Blog on Nov 28, 2008 @ 05:07 PM

    The ironic thing is that the new “white star” shaped structure will actually dwarf one of the last surving and authentic reminders of the era of great ship building in Belfast, i.e. the drawing office and administration block.

    They’ve already completed the suffocating job with the pump house and Thompson dock.

    But hey, when did we ever truly respect our heritage…

    WE HAVE DRAWING OFFICES, THOMPSON PUMP-HOUSE AND DOCK AND NOMADIC YET SPENDING NOTHING ON THESE WHICH COULD PROVIDE BELFAST WITH SOMETHING UNIQUE AGAINST REST OF WORLD WITH BIGGER AND BETTER TITANIC ATTRACTIONS

    BY THE WAY PEAT WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY SUFFOCATING JOB TO PUMP-HOUSE. IT USED TO BE A MESS BT NOW TIDIED UP, INTERPRETATION IN PLACE AND THE ONLY PART OF TITANIC’S HERITAGE OPEN. PERSONALLY I THINK THE SCIENCE PARK ARE TO BE COMMENDED IN WHAT THEY HAVE DONE.

    http://www.titanicsdock.com