Harland And Wolff - Heart Of The Yard

The Heart of the Yard

Described as the 'Cape Canaveral of its time', the Harland & Wolff Headquarters building was once the nerve centre of the largest shipyard in the world. 

The entire White Star Line fleet was designed in the Drawing Offices and constructed on the slipways outside, including the legendary liners OlympicTitanic and Oceanic and naval warship HMS Belfast.

The magnificent dual Victorian Drawing Offices, with their three-storey high barrel-vaulted ceilings, are the only surviving example of this type of shipyard architecture in the world.

Guided by the history and culture of the shipbuilding location, the hotel remains true to the story of Harland & Wolff.

Working closely with conservation architects, traditional techniques such as lath and plaster were used on the walls. As much of the original fabric of the building was retained, with decorative features and artefacts reused wherever possible. Where it could not be retained, existing decorative moulding was recorded and replacements made. 

The building is 'listed' due to its special architectural and historical importance, and was sensitively restored within architectural heritage protection guidelines.

The modernised upper accommodation levels are decorated with nautical and Art Deco themes, inspired by the style of the time, representing the art of shipbuilding and the 'Golden Age of Ocean Liners.'

Bedrooms have streamlined Art Deco furniture and nautical touches throughout, with hanging ship's lanterns, riveted panels and unique maritime artwork in every room.

The bedrooms and public spaces are a mix of genres, with preserved historic features, and contemporary artworks and decorations.

Throughout the hotel guest can enjoy a permanent collection of over 500 artworks, artefacts and photographs

Authentic black and white photographs from the Harland & Wolff collection are poignant reminders of the design & engineering prowess of Belfast's shipyards. 

The styles and fashions of the day can be glimpsed through passenger portraits and colourful White Star Line travel memorabilia and posters

The museum-grade collection was created in collaboration with institutions, historians, private collectors and local artists and curated by Harcourt's group creative director John Paul Doherty.

Notable artefacts include the Villeroy & Boch tiles that surround the hotel's main bar - identical to the tiles used for the swimming pools and First Class bathrooms on Titanic and Olympic

The bar is decorated with 342 octagonal and 378 diamond original Villeroy and Boch tiles. These tiles were discovered on the first floor of the H&W building prior to refurbishment, and are from the same batch as the ones on the famous liners.

Harland & Wolff vacated the offices in 1989 and the building was abandoned and left to slowly rot for nearly thirty years.

In 2016, a partnership between Titanic FoundationHeritage Lottery Fund and Harcourt Developments breathed new life into the building; transforming a derelict landmark into a unique boutique hotel and giving the public access to an historic building that had been closed for decades.

Work began in March 2016 and focused on restoring the heritage features; repairing the damage caused by being empty for almost thirty years. 
A fourth floor was added, replicating the mansard roof that had been removed and new pavilions were re-instated between the Drawing Offices. 

The restoration was completed in September 2017; and the Grade B+ listed building is now a shining symbol of Belfast’s golden age and the city’s status as one of Europe’s leading visitor destinations today.