SSDA 2018: Belfast Waterfront Conference & Exhibition Centre

The new steel-framed extension to the Belfast Waterfront provides an additional 7,000m² of floor space, which can facilitate up to 5,000 guests.

As the SSDA awards celebrate their 50th year of recognising the best of what the UK steel construction industry can achieve, we celebrate that 77% of the projects feature STRUMIS customers. In this post we will be celebrating Walter Watson Ltd.’s involvement in Belfast Waterfront Conference & Exhibition Centre project.

SSDA2018 Belfast Waterfront

Photo: © GOC Photography


Belfast Waterfront Conference & Exhibition Centre

Architects: Todd Architects

Structural Engineer: Doran Consulting Ltd

Steelwork Contractors: Walter Watson Ltd

Main Contractor: McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd

Client: Belfast City Council

Flexibility is at the heart of the design for Belfast Waterfront extension as it includes a 1,800m² main hall, together with a 700m² minor hall, both of which can be sub-divided to allow more flexible layouts.

These large clear span spaces were most cost-effectively achieved through the use of a steel frame, particularly given the site constraints.

The conference halls and breakout rooms are also flexible spaces allowing the client to offer tailored events and compete with other UK cities for major conferences and exhibitions. The new banqueting facilities can accommodate 1,000 people making the venue one of the biggest in Northern Ireland.

The use of steel meant the construction works could be accelerated given the opportunity to pre-fabricate the frame offsite in advance.

“Steel allowed the designers to achieve the clear spans and complex layout required for this building to achieve its purpose,” says Walter Watson General Manager Structural Division Trevor Irvine.

Summing up, the judges say new conference halls, banqueting and break-out spaces extend the Belfast Waterfront Conference Centre right up to the quay of the River Lagan. The resulting multiple challenges, both physical and financial, were met by a sequence of appropriate and pragmatic structural steel and architectural solutions.

To read the full article visit the NSC website

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