Titan Crane wins international award

24 Sep 2008

Titan Crane Visitor's Centre at Clydebank has been recognised with an International Award for Architecture.

The International Architectural Awards which was awarded to Collective Architecture by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum, promotes international architecture and new and cutting edge design on a global scale.

Ewan Imrie, project architect for Titan Crane said, "I am absolutely delighted that the Titan Crane, Clydebank has been recognised on the international stage. The award bears testament to the huge effort that has gone into the regeneration of Titan Crane  and the determination of the people of Clydebank and Clydebank Re-built to see their crane preserved as a monument to Clydebank's proud past. Our proposals for the Titan Crane were designed to celebrate the crane as an important landmark with the installation of the feature-lighting visible for afar, and to fully restore the crane to preserve it for years to come. The new elements, primarily the visitor centre, viewing platform, lift and stair, were designed to be as discreet as possible while echoing the industrial aesthetic of the shipyard, so as not to detract from the crane itself and to ensure that visitors could have a entirely unique and authentic experience of standing atop a crane at 150ft above ground."

This year the Museum received nearly 1,000 entries for architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning from a wide range of practices around the world. The jury consisted of a distinguished group of American architects and educators under the auspices of The New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The Titan Crane was one of only 14 projects from the UK to be given the award, in recognition of its iconic status as a symbol of the Clyde's industrial heritage, and as a catalyst for the current regeneration of the Clydebank waterfront, the former location of the Clydebank shipyards. Collective Architecture said they were thrilled to receive an award that recognises the Titan Crane on an international level.

The Titan crane will be featured as part of an Exhibition in Athens in January and February 2009. The exhibition will then travel to other locations within Europe until the end of June.

About Titan Clydebank

The Titan Clydebank is an outstanding symbol of the Clydeʼs industrial heritage, and a catalytic icon for the regeneration of Clydebank and its future. Today, the Titan is at the heart of Clydebank Re-built's regeneration of the waterfront area around the former Clydebank Shipyard.

It was the first Sir William Arrol Titan on the Clyde. It could lift 150 tons when built and was upgraded to 200 tons in 1937. It assisted in the building of many famous ships including The Lusitania, The Queen Mary and the QE2. Standing 150 feet above ground level, Titan is still the most prominent and recognisable object on the Clydebank skyline.

Collective Architecture's involvement in the project began in January 2003, having won a competition todevelop a lighting strategy for the Titan Clydebank. It soon became apparent that The Titanʼs historical and cultural importance merited full restoration, with the potential to attract serious funding: in addition to being an iconic monument for Clydebank, it could also become a unique visitor attraction.

The restoration involved shot-blasting the old paint and rust to bring the structure back to bare steel before applying primer coats and a final top coat. The new stair and lift shafts are steel frames clad in a robust aluminium cladding to reference the industrial heritage of the site. The lift shaft is punctured with tall windows providing spectacular glimpses of the existing structure during ascent.

The viewing platform is enclosed with a fine cable net fence and floored with an open mesh grating allowing visitors to walk along the jib, 150ft above the River Clyde, and soak in the exhilarating views. The wheelhouse has been refurbished to allow visitors to experience the huge lifting equipment, while information panels tell the story of the crane, the shipyard and the people who lived and worked around the Titan.

At night, illumination brings the Titan to life, silhouetting the diagonal structure with coloured and white light, and casting dramatic shadows on the quayside below.

The Titan Clydebank opened on August 3rd 2007 as a unique attraction where day visitors and residents, schools, clubs and societies can enjoy a major piece of industrial heritage as a living

  • Titan Crane and the Waverley Paddle Steamer, image by Andrew Lee

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  • Titan Clydebank