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Case Study

Titanic Signature Project

The attraction was developed as a “must-see” destination for the people of Belfast and tourists to Ireland. Clad in more than 120 tons of Novelis J57S® anodized aluminum, the brilliant facade of the Titanic Signature Project captures the attention of all who see it.

Located in the heart of Titanic Quarter, the iconic Titanic building celebrates Belfast as the launch site and home of the ship. It also serves as a link to the city’s shipbuilding and seafaring past. Nine galleries covering 14,000 m2 offer innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic and Belfast stories.

From above the six-floor building looks like a star, the emblem of the Titanic’s White Star Line shipping company. Inspired by the hulls of the Titanic and its sister ships, architectural firm Todd Architects used the corners of the facade to mimic the vessels with four 28-meter tall hulls.

City: Belfast
Country: Northern Ireland
Products: Batch anodized aluminum J57S
Application: Facade cladding
Color: Natural anodized

Thickness: 3 mm
Quantity: 6,200 m2
Architect: Todd Architects
Installation: EDM Spanwal

Aluminum Cladding Creates Architectural Feat

Entirely covered with 3 mm-thick J57S aluminum cladding, the 6,200 m2 facade consists of decorative three-dimensional panels complemented with diamond-like shaped windows, as well as aluminum and wood slats.

Approximately 2,000 of the 3,000 aluminum facade panels at the Titanic Signature Project are completely unique in form and dimension. Leaning out at angles up to 25 degrees, the facade required complicated geometries based on advanced computer-aided design.

The J57S panels were batch anodized after processing by United Anodisers. Their UV, corrosion and weather resistance is designed for the highest architectural requirements. For the extreme climate conditions of Northern Ireland’s east coast, Novelis anodized J57S provides a permanent brilliance, allowing the Titanic Signature Project to age well. Durable and easy to maintain, all Novelis aluminum facade products also are fire rated as non-flammable according to DIN EN 13501-A1.

Consistent Color and Gloss

The chemical composition of the J57S alloy is formulated to achieve a distinctive metallic appearance after anodizing. The anodized aluminum can also be colored using either the immersion process or the electrolytic process with metal salt. Novelis applies very narrow tolerances to the J57S microstructure to ensure the best possible consistency for color and gloss after anodizing.

To maintain this type of consistency, J57S is strictly controlled at every point of the manufacturing process. From ingot production to the final surface check, established protocols keep J57S at the same high quality roll after roll. Mixing production lots, usually avoided, poses no problem due to this uniformity of product.

Installation Options

Because Novelis anodizing quality is easy to work, there are a number of options for installation. There are conventional fastening techniques for ventilated, curtain-type facades. Modern bonding techniques can also be used for stud welding or invisible fastening. And though flat sheets, panels or cassettes are typical cladding for facades, J57S makes rhomboid forms not just possible, but also practical for installation.

Any processing that is needed – cutting, bending, drilling, punching – can be performed before batch anodizing is completed. Even with a small internal radii (min. 1 x material gauge at 90°), the bending properties of J57S are exceptional.

Award Worthy

The Titanic Signature Project was a winner in the European Aluminium Association innovation contest in 2012. Awarded the Overall Jury Prize, TSP was noted for its unusual facade design and its very complex and innovative facade structure.