More than 1.3 square kilometres of precision perforated aluminium from RMIG Group has been used to provide a distinctive decorative cladding solution to White Star House, the fourth building to be constructed as part of the prestigious Northern Ireland Science Park [NISP) development at Queen's Island in Belfast.
Designed bv international architectural and engineering consultants, the Scott Wilson Group, the four-storey White Star House provides 40,000 square feet of flexible workspace to service Northern Ireland's growing ICT, life science, engineering and biotech sectors.
Located within the 185 acre Titanic Ruarter site, the building also meets the requiremens of The Carbon Trust's 'Low Carbon Design' initiative. The building's design blends structural and architectural innovation with a clear recognition of the site's historic location and heritage in ship building. In addition to using perforated aluminum from RMIG to give an 'engineered and technological influenced exterior, other innovations, such as ground water extraction have been incorporated in the design which reflect the function of the building as a centre for innovation.
The structure is heavily influenced by shipbuilding in a number of ways. Three exposed prow-shaped support pillars, which are exactly the same height as that of the Titanic above the waterline, are used to frame the main entrance. Also, the overall form of the building echoes that of a shipyard gantry, under which the liners were built. The building is situated beside Thompson Dock, which was the last place that the 'Titanic' was berthed before leaving Belfast. The 30mm thick aluminium cladding was supplied by RMIG, pre-finished to site in 42 different panel sizes, which were secured to a steel framework to provide a highly original aesthetic exterior finish.
Also, each panei incorporates hundreds of 10mm square perforations which act as hiahlv effective light diffusers for when the buiiding is lit at night, with low level lighting to act as a landmark and beacon for people arriving in Belfast by air and sea.
Mervyn Kirk. UK Business Development Manager with RMIG's Architectural Division, explained: "White Star House incorporates an immense amount of new technology, which is in keeping with its role and position within Northern Ireland's newest and innovative science park and we're delighted that our products have been used to enhance the exterior appeal of this unique structure."
He added: "Our architectural products are being used widely to meet a range of different design specification and project requirements particularly where the designer, contractor and client are seeking a high degree of individuality or where perforated metal provides an ideal solution to a specific problem."