Belfast Telegraph

Titanic House a big draw for architects

By Clare Weir

A building once used to formulate the plans for the Titanic is being transformed into a new business hub.

Todd Architects and Planners has relocated its Belfast offices from the Cathedral Quarter to Titanic House, the original Harland -amp; Wolff headquarters on Queen's Road, Titanic Quarter.

Fully refurbished and restored in 2007, Titanic Quarter Ltd has plans to develop part of the building, where design plans for RMS Titanic were drawn up over a century ago, into a business centre.

Todd's new studios are located on the second floor, overlooking a range of landmark buildings which the practice has delivered, including the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast Metropolitan College and the Titanic Belfast.

Todd's move coincides with a redesign of the first floor office space at Titanic House to an open-floor format for Titanic Quarter Ltd staff, helping pave the wave for further new business ventures.

The three-storey sandstone and brick Titanic House building was constructed in various stages between 1900 and 1919 and until October 1989, acted as the administration and drawing office centre for the Harland -amp; Wolff shipyard.

David Gavaghan, chief executive at Titanic Quarter Ltd, said Titanic House is a building which has housed some of the UK's most innovative business minds.

"We believe the building can become a hub for local forward-thinking businesses and are working on plans for a new business development on the ground floor which will be one of the most exciting new additions to Belfast's business infrastructure," he said.

"We are delighted to welcome Todd Architects and Planners to Titanic House.

"The creativity and dynamism for which the practice is renowned will provide an added vibrancy to our daily working environment."

Paul Crowe, managing director at Todd Architects and Planners, added: "This move marks a new era for the practice as we continue to expand our commission base across the UK, with the opening of a London office last summer, and the Middle East.

"Our new studios will enable us to introduce new working patterns and efficiencies in the manner in which we deliver our services that will be to the benefit of both our staff and our clients.

"Having played a major role in the regeneration of the Cathedral Quarter since the practice began operating from there in the late 1980s, we are similarly enthused at the prospect of helping breathe new life into Titanic House and Titanic Quarter in general."