The Arc apartments

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The name "Arc" has two meanings. As an abbreviation, it stands for the Abercorn Residential Complex[1]. Secondly, the long edges of the buildings are arcs, as in parts of curves.

History

Initial plans for the Arc were unveiled in 2003, with the residential complex to be located in the Abercorn Basin area of the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. [2] The promotional material was criticised as reaching "new heights of cultural cringe, at least for Belfast, wrapped around the language of urban renaissance"[3].

The Arc was built between 2007 and 2009. Some apartments were purchased off-plan before they were ready for occupation. The Financial crisis of 2007–2008 caused a collapse in property values in Northern Ireland and some early buyers of Arc properties were unable to complete their purchases[4] [5]. The developer, Titanic Quarter Limited, began legal proceedings to force owners to meet their obligations[6]. With sales slow after the crisis, the developer put many apartments on the rental market. A notable penthouse tenant was Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thronesref>Daly, Linda. "Belfast's Titanic Quarter looks shipshape". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2021-02-07.</ref>.

Apartment complex

The Arc contains 475 residential properties. They consist of: two-bed, one-bed and three-bed apartments; penthouses; and maisonettes facing Queens Road. In all, there are 26 different designs of apartment. For example, a C-type is a one-bedroom apartment [7] [8] [9].

There are three buildings. The oldest, Building A, is closest to the city centre and has eight levels. Building B in the middle has ten levels. Building C, completed last, is the tallest with twelve levels. The three buildings are separated by two short cobbled alleys, which give access to Queens Road and are known as streetscapes. Each building is divided into four cores, except for Building A which has three cores and a branch of the Premier Inn budget hotel chain. The cores are therefore Core 2 to Core 12. Each core has one set of stairs, one lift, one foot exit to a streetscape and several foot exits to the secured utility and parking areas within the building. Access control is through fobs issued to residents. There is one type of fob (coded for a single core) for foot access and another to pass through any of the four vehicle gates. Each of the eleven cores has direct access by foot to the public street, because the Arc has no single central entrance. There is no concierge service or additional on-site security except for CCTV. The Arc has no shared gym, spa or fitness facilities within the buildings [7] [8] [9].

Each building has an elevated patio garden for the private use of residents. Access is from the 1st or 2nd floors, depending on the core.

Allocated covered parking for residents is provided in basement garages which are at three levels and stretch the full length of the complex. There is a small number of parking spaces available to visitors for a daily fee. There is no free visitor car parking anywhere in the area. Basic facilities are provided in the Arc parking garage for bicycles and motorcycles. There are no charging points for electric vehicles.

The retail tenants are currently SPAR, Subway, the Paper Cup cafe and the Dock Cafe. The SPAR grocery store includes a sub post office. The rest of the available retail units are not in use at present[10].

The property manager is TQ (ARC) Building Management Limited.

The Arc has several postcodes in the BT3 postal area of Belfast and three different street numbers on Queens Road. Deliveries and post for residents should be addressed to X.YY The Arc, where X is the core and YY is the apartment number within the core. A fictitious example of a full address is: 8.88 The Arc, 2G Queens Road, Belfast BT3 9FG.

Public realm

The open ground in the immediate vicinity is known as the Arc Public Realm. Most of this is a plaza between the concave frontage of the apartment buildings and the Abercorn Basin, which opens to the River Lagan and hosts Belfast Harbour Marina. The plaza is designed in Titanic Quarter style and is artistically enhanced with sculptures and street furniture. Next to the oldest residential building, the Belfast Buoys are installed.

Media appearances

The Arc has featured in popular television shows. For example, Marcella (TV series) [11] [12] contains a scene in which the title character parks in the Arc basement car park and walks away. For another scene, a "body" was filmed falling from an Arc apartment balcony, apparently confusing some viewers [13].

References

  1. "Luxury living in the heart of Belfast's Titanic Quarter". The Irish News. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
  2. "Titanic Quarter plans unveiled". BBC News. 2003-04-15. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
  3. Punter, John (2009-10-01). Urban Design and the British Urban Renaissance. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-26391-1.
  4. "Titanic Quarter builder can't force man to pay for flat". BBC News. 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
  5. Foster, Nick (2011-09-15). "A Long, Hard Road to Recovery in Northern Ireland (Published 2011)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
  6. McDonnell, Francess. "'Flat broke' argument is one way to escape apartment nightmare". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "TITANIC QUARTER PHASE III - AMENDMENT TO AGREED DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK" (PDF). May 2008.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "TQ - TITANIC QUARTER REGENERATING BELFAST" (PDF). 2007.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "ARC Apartments, Titanic Quarter - RMI Architects Belfast Northern Ireland". RMI Architects Belfast. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  10. Daly, Linda. "Belfast's Titanic Quarter looks shipshape". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
  11. "Marcella returns: When is it on, who's in the cast and what's the story so far?". BT.com. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
  12. McGoran, Peter (2021-02-02). "Anna Friel shares behind-the-scenes Belfast snaps from Marcella". BelfastLive. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  13. "Marcella: Fans left confused watching ITV drama's episode four". HELLO!. 2021-02-10. Retrieved 2021-02-13.

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