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Country: UK, Northern Ireland
Purpose: residential space, office space, retail, services
Main Contractor: Harry Dougherty
Architect: TODD Architects and Planners
Our contribution: Performing static, fabrication and site project curtain walls.
Project of ‘The Boat’ was the winning proposal in a development competition set by Belfast Laganside Redevelopment Corporation.
The goal of BLCR was to build an original mixed-use building to complete development of the Custom House Square in Belfast. The main objective was maximalization of commerce potential and long term revival of the area, as well as addressing adjacent areas of Belfast Lough, River Lagan and Belfast City.
Bold, downright visionary approach of designers, localization and spectacular view in combination with a sculptural built form and visual exposure contributed towards uniqueness of this project. In the mind of designers the building was supposed to embody work, leisure and fun all in one. In accordance to project ‘The Boat’ was supposed to accommodate bar/restaurant, offices and apartments. Combining so many different functions within one object was an unique proposition in the city of Belfast.
The distinctive architectural form of the project was shaped in response to its location and the desire to have ‘active facades’. The building is in it’s form open towards the River Lagan as well as the city of Belfast, and the timber solar control louvre screen facing it has an almost metaphorical meaning, like an arm extended stretching towards the city. On it’s opposite side irregular glass panels deliver views to the square and over the city. Colored forms reminding of the ‘picture frames’ and the unconventional balconies add character and an element of surprise to the overall composition and the colors reflect industrial heritage of the Belfast.
All parts of the ‘The Boat’ make full use of it’s eclectic orientation and each of the distinct functions has characteristic, dramatic and slightly quirky range of spaces. The ground and first floor there is a bar/restaurant designed in a way that every one of its tables creates a unique vantage point thanks to the full-height glazing. Offices and apartments located on ‘The Boat’s’ higher condignations are also partially glazed on it’s north-east and north-west facade. Facade of the building faces the river at a sharp sharp angle, reminiscent of a boat arch.
The form and height of the building contributed to the choice of structure – a flat slab concrete frame. ‘Solid’ elements of ‘The Boat’ are traditional masonry cavities constructions with silicone render externally, glazed facades are thermally broken double glazed aluminium systems with hardwood solar shading. The roof is a lightweight structure consisting of a plywood deck covered with a single insulated membrane.