Southampton City Council wanted to develop a landmark museum which is fundamental in promoting the regeneration of the Cultural Quarter within Southampton. The attraction occupies the west block of the Civic Centre, a Grade II listed building constructed in the 1930s for use as a Magistrates and Coroners court. The attraction opened on the 12th April 2012 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sailing of the Titanic. The visitor attraction provides two permanent galleries and provided a temporary special exhibitions gallery: ‘Gateway to the world’, ‘Titanic Story’ and ‘Temporary Special Exhibitions’ gallery. The latter hosts a dynamic range of temporary exhibitions, however, the first temporary gallery was ‘Titanic, the Legend’ which focused on the international fascination with the story of the Titanic. The gallery housed a remotely operated vehicle that is used for undersea explorations.
The fit out for ‘Titanic, the Legend’ was in the new build extension constructed adjacent to the existing listed building. The most bespoke aspect of the project was the coordination of the installation of the different aspects of the museum in conjunction with the interactive exhibition features and the AV installation. The mock-up of the Titanic bridge included a ship wheel and telegraph which when operated changed the direction and speed of the ship, demonstrated on the screens in front. The mock-up of the boiler room included a similar interactive element which allowed visitors to shovel coal into the boiler; this in turn increased the noise the boilers made. Also exhibited was an interactive map of Southampton that indicated where the Romans, Saxons or Vikings resided.