Tandem Design

Belfast Harbour Commissioner

Visitor Experience

Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Our goal or vision for this project

Tandem was commissioned to create the most effective interpretation for the interior of a new heritage room in the old Harbour Commissioners Office.

Artefacts from the Commissioner's collection are integral to this interpretation. Visitor's to the heritage room are presented with a history of Belfast’s emergence as a major port and the city’s subsequent growth and development.
A number of engaging features draw visitors into the Commissioner’s world.

Lectern panels are subtly incorporated into the space visitors encounter before entering the heritage room. These lecterns interpret the surrounding stained glass windows. They tell stories which will pique the visitor's interest - such as that of the Titanic table and chairs - before they enter the heritage room.

A graphic timeline, running along the left length of wall in the heritage room, highlights key milestones in Belfast’s maritime history, providing an overview to the visitor. The graphic style is both sensitive to and in keeping with the building’s heritage décor and feel, contributing to an immersive and seamless visitor experience.

Floating backlit panels, on the adjacent wall of the heritage room, focus on five scenes that represent key contributions made by the Harbour Commissioners to the city, such as the making of the first cut at Belfast Port. 

A time-lapse projection, which shows people working and visiting the port in the present day, links the heritage of the port with its contemporary use and continuing importance to the city.

Two museum-grade display cases, commissioned from leading providers (Click Netherfield), display artefacts from the Harbour Commissioner’s collection. These items are rotated frequently, highlighting the diversity and scale of the collection, and encouraging visitors to return again.

A touchscreen, facing the specially commissioned stained-glass window by local artist Ann Smith, allows the visitor to access information about each of the windows. It encourages the visitor to engage in some depth with the design and artists behind the windows.

An additional touchscreen presents information about the Harbour Commissioners’ significant collection of Irish, French and Italian paintings and sculptures. This AV presentation also invites visitors to learn ‘factlets’ of information about the Harbour Commissioners. 

Artefacts from the Commissioner's collection are integral to this interpretation.