Atmospheric lighting at the Titanic Belfast is integral to the visitor experience. 

Atmospheric lighting at the Titanic Belfast is integral to the visitor experience. 

The Titanic Belfast has been shortlisted for Architectural Lighting Project of the Year in the Lux Awards. Three Sutton Vane Associates projects have been shortlisted for the Lux Awards 2012: the Titanic, Belfast; the Jewel House, Tower of London and the London 2012 Olympic Park. The awards take place on 6 November at the Grosevenor Hotel, London. 

Titanic Belfast opened in July to enthusiastic reviews and massive publicity, on the centenary of the historic ship’s launch. Sutton Vane Associates’ lighting design included using low lighting levels and variations in colour temperature to help tell Titanic’s extraordinary story. 

Sutton Vane Associates was commissioned by Harcourt Construction to provide lighting designs for all public assessable spaces within and around the Titanic Signature building. This includes the main atrium, circulations spaces, banqueting and pre-function spaces, permanent exhibition spaces, the temporary gallery, the lifts, restrooms, external spaces and the building façade. A theatrical use of light, shadows and colour emphasises the form and materials of the building.

The 100th anniversary of the launch of the Titanic set an immovable deadline for the project’scompletion so it was essential to develop a lighting strategy for the whole building that was coordinated both in terms of aesthetics and of lighting technologies to create atmosphere; reflect and support the narrative of the Titanic story; help develop a sense of identity for the building and its surrounding spaces and to make the lighting energy-efficient, sustainable and easy to maintain. 

The journey through the Titanic Signature building involves a number of key stages, each of which requires specific methods of lighting to create the appropriate environment for the visitor. Lighting is used to create a consistent experience, which joins up all of these spaces, though each space will always maintain its own unique feel. In addition to supporting the narrative of the exhibition, lighting creates a sense of arrival, anticipation and excitement and supports the wayfinding strategy developed by interior design consultant Kay Elliot. 

MondoArc has given its readers a guided tour of the installation at Titanic Belfast both online and in its June/July 2012 cover feature.