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Templemore Baths – Restoring historic legacy and building a community hub in Belfast

Brick and glass exterior of the front entrance to the building

In the heart of Belfast, a historic landmark stands as a testament to the city’s rich heritage: the Templemore Baths.

This iconic, Victorian era building was in need of a transformation. To breathe new life into this historical landmark and create a modern community hub, Tetra Tech was appointed to provide expertise in civil and structural, mechanical and electrical engineering.

A Historic Landmark in Need of Restoration

Built between 1889 and 1892, the Templemore Baths are the last working Victorian baths in Europe. These baths have played a significant role in history, offering essential washing and sanitary facilities to the growing population attracted by many industries, including shipbuilding and manufacturing, during the late 19th century.

As part of the revitalisation efforts led by Belfast City Council, Tetra Tech was tasked with ensuring the structural integrity and safety of the historic building while seamlessly integrating new elements.

Tetra Tech’s Involvement

Tetra Tech’s role began with a comprehensive structural assessment of the original Templemore Baths building. The team meticulously evaluated the condition of the concrete, brickwork, steel, and cast iron roof trusses. This detailed examination was essential to determine what needed repair, restoration, or replacement.

A unique challenge was presented when testing the structural integrity around one of the original pools. The team needed to assess the flooring constructed during the Victorian era to ensure it could withstand contemporary demands. Remarkably, the investigation, achieved through load testing, revealed that the perimeter of the pool could support up to 500 kilograms per square meter, and would therefore meet the loading requirements of modern design codes.


Innovative Civil Engineering Solutions

Besides the structural aspects, Tetra Tech played a pivotal role in designing critical civil engineering systems. One of the paramount tasks was devising an efficient wastewater system capable of managing water from showers, toilets, and the two pools. This system was essential to maintain hygiene standards while ensuring a smooth flow of wastewater.

Additionally, Tetra Tech tackled the complex challenge of stormwater management, including Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDs), to mitigate flooding risks. These systems were designed to efficiently handle rainfall and prevent any water-related issues on the site.

Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

Tetra Tech had to review, refresh and modernise the building services in the existing building and integrate these with the design of new highly efficient services in the new build extension. Services were developed to integrate with historic nature of the building. BREEAM services were also provided at all design stages.

Overcoming Challenges with Coordination

Throughout the project, unexpected challenges arose beneath the surface, requiring swift and cost-effective solutions. This required teamwork and coordination with the wider team.. Collaboration with architects from McAdam Design and the Consarc Design Group was crucial in addressing these unforeseen issues while adhering to both budgetary constraints and the project’s timeline.

A Communal Transformation

As the project neared completion, Tetra Tech’s contributions became a cornerstone of the successful transformation of Templemore Baths. The dedication to preserving history, ensuring safety, and creating modern amenities has breathed new life into this iconic Belfast landmark. The restored baths have become a vibrant community hub, where residents can gather, exercise, and enjoy the best of both, the old and the new.

We are proud to have been able to contribute to the restoration of a historic building and create a space that the community can truly benefit from and enjoy. We are very happy to bring the old building back to life and build a place that people can actually use. It is great to contribute to the community where you live

John McConville, Associate Director

The Templemore Baths now stand as a testament to the city’s history and a symbol of a promising future.

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