White Star House, Belfast

White Star House, Belfast

Architect: Scott Wilson Group Type of works: design and manufacture of exterior cladding.

More than 1.3km2 of precision perforated aluminium from RMIG Group is being used to provide a distinctive and decorative exterior cladding solution at White Star House, Northern Ireland Science Park.

White Star House is the fourth building to be constructed as part of the prestigious Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) development at Queen’s Island in Belfast. Designed by international architectural and engineering consultants, the Scott Wilson Group, the four-storey building provides 40,000 square feet of flexible workspace to service Northern Ireland’s growing ICT, life science, engineering and biotech sectors.

The building’s design blends structural and architectural innovation with a clear recognition of the site’s historic location and 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. Located within the 185 acre Titanic Quarter site, the building meets the requirements of The Carbon Trust’s ‘Low Carbon Design’ initiative and incorporates a number of energy conservation innovations, such as ground water extraction.

Perforated aluminium from RMIG was used to give an ‘engineered’ and ‘technologically influenced’ exterior which helps reflect the building’s function as a centre for innovation. The pre-finished 3.0mm thick cladding was supplied to site in 42 different panel sizes to meet precise architectural specifications with each being secured to a steel framework to provide a highly original aesthetic exterior finish. Each panel incorporates hundreds of 10mm square perforations which act as highly effective light diffusers for when the building is lit at night with low level lighting to act as a landmark and beacon for people arriving in Belfast by air and sea.

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