Eric Kuhne and Associates were commissioned as concept architects, with Todd Architects appointed as lead consultants. The building's design is intended to reflect Belfast's history of shipmaking and the industrial legacy bequeathed by Harland & Wolff. Its angular form recalls the shape of ships' prows, with its main "prow" angled down the middle of the Titanic and Olympic slipways towards the River Lagan. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the building looks like an iceberg, and locals have already nicknamed it "The Iceberg". Most of the building's façade is clad in 3,000 individual silver anodised aluminium shards. It stands 126 feet (38 m) high, the same height as Titanic's hull.
View looking down into the atrium of Titanic Belfast
The interior of the eight-storey building provides 12,000 square metres (130,000 sq ft) of space. Its centrepiece is a series of interpretive galleries exploring aspects of the building, design, sinking and legacy of Titanic. On the top floor of the museum is Belfast's largest conference and reception space, the Titanic Suite, a banqueting facility capable of seating 750 people. A reproduction of the original staircase on the Titanic, made famous by the James Cameron film Titanic in 1997, is located in this conference centre. The building also provides education, community, retail and restaurant facilities plus a community resource centre.
The construction of the building cost £77 million with an additional £24 million spent on pre-planning and public realm enhancements. The foundations to the building involved one of the country's largest-ever concrete pours with 4,200 cubic metres (150,000 cu ft) of concrete delivered by 700 concrete lorries in 24 hours. Harcourt Construction (NI) Ltd oversaw the design and building phase of the project., a subsidiary of Dublin-based property development company Harcourt Developments Ltd.