Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Titanic centre designer Grimason dies aged 77

By Ivan Little

The award-winning Belfast man who designed the eye-catching cladding on the walls of the Titanic Belfast visitor attraction has died.

Alan Grimason, who was 77, had also worked on other major projects around the world, including the Kensington Oval cricket ground in Barbados, Manchester City's Etihad Stadium and British Airways' buildings at Heathrow.

Mr Grimason, who was the design director at the EDM Spanwall company in Carryduff, retired after seeing his plans for Titanic Belfast turning into a reality in 2012.

He described the work as his swan song and said the Titanic Belfast job was one of the most prestigious construction projects in Northern Ireland over the last 100 years

He added: "I am delighted with it, absolutely delighted.

"It's a great statement compared to any other project I've seen around the world and any other thing I've been involved in."

But Mr Grimason said he didn't think enough had been made of the local input to the distinctive Titanic facade, adding: "It's a shame that in all the things that have gone on and all the things about being 'made in Belfast' there hasn't been one mention about the wall cladding being designed and manufactured in Belfast."

It was Mr Grimason who came up with the idea of cladding the building - which is shaped like a four-cornered star - in shiny steel which has helped it to become one of the outstanding features on the Belfast skyline.

Arlene Foster, who was Tourism Minister at the time, hailed the completion of the exterior cladding as "a testament to the skill and professionalism of the local construction industry".

The cladding consists of 3,000 panels, of which 2,000 are unique.

At Mr Grimason's funeral service at Roselawn Crematorium yesterday, retired architect and close friend Barry Patterson said the designer was an "outstanding professional who was meticulous in his attention to detail".

Mourners also heard that Mr Grimason was a keen artist and golfer.

Belfast Telegraph

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