Derry firm to recreate Titanic’s glass dome

The new dome as it may appear when finished.
The new dome as it may appear when finished.

A Derry firm specialising in stained glass has been commissioned to recreate a massive glass dome that was the centrepiece of the Titanic.

Art Glass - based at Skeoge Business Park - is currently working on the project which is believed to be the biggest decorative dome designed in this part of the world since Victorian times.

On completion, the ‘Titanic Dome’ - the original of which was located over the main staircase on the ill-fated trans-Atlantic liner - will be a focal point of the iconic Titanic Quarter in Belfast.

The enormous decorative glass dome was made famous in James Cameron’s multi-Oscar winning movie starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslett.

Philip and Sinead Coyle - the husband and wife team who run the Derry design studio - say they’re excited by their latest project.

Sinead said: “This is an immensely impressive project in keeping with the importance of the new Titanic Belfast building which will be a draw for tourists from around the world.

“It shows the superb design and production skills to be found here at Art Glass where there is unrivalled expertise which can deliver a range of applications. Importantly, in these very difficult times, it will be of great benefit to the local economy and just, as in the original Titanic, it is essential that local companies are recognised for the expertise and experience that they can bring to developing and delivering such a remarkable project for Belfast.”

Philip added: “The Titanic Belfast contract was quite a challenge because of the size and style of the three dimensional work that is required.

“There were the multiple problems of weight, access and having the feature appear authentic using modern materials instead of the original cast iron and slumped glass which would have weighed tens of tons and would have been impossible to place in the building.

“But, in the end we were delighted to have the abilities of our artistes recognised by the very positive feedback from all involved.

“Our focus is to continually seek to be innovative, to explore the medium in which we are expert and to use the knowledge and skills we’ve built up over the years in a broad range of restoration, design and glass and glazing solutions.”

Art Glass will, over the next few weeks, instal the huge dome designed by the team in Derry.

Philip added: “When one sees the quality of the work on the Titanic Belfast project and this contract, it’s easy to understand how the company has built up a portfolio of high profile clients that includes major architectural practices and contractors.”