Titan Crane Clydebank, Historic Scottish engineering landmark, River building structure date, Architecture history

Titan Crane Glasgow : Historic Clydebank Structure

Restoration + Illumination for Clydebank Rebuilt, Glasgow refurbishment by Chris Stewart Architects

post updated 24 July 2023

Refurbishment Architect : Chris Stewart Architects

Titan Crane, Glasgow
Arrol Crane, John Brown’s Shipyard, Clydebank

Titan Crane

Titan Crane

20 Aug 2013 – The Titan Crane at Clydebank has been officially recognised as an engineering landmark on par with the Eiffel Tower, reports the BBC today.

The Titan will become the fifth “engineering landmark” in Scotland along with the Forth Rail Bridge, Forth and Clyde Canal, Craigellachie Bridge in Aberlour and the Caledonian Canal. Built between 1906 and 1907, the crane was used to lift heavy equipment at John Brown shipyard on the River Clyde.

Titan Crane, Glasgow
photo of Titan Crane

The Grade A-listed crane opened as a visitor attraction in 2007, with a lift up to its 150ft high jib platform.
Four leading engineering groups have designated the crane an International Historic Civil and Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

The award is from the American Society of Civil Engineers Board of Direction and is endorsed by the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
It is the first time all four engineering institutions have come together to designate a landmark.

Titan Crane Renewal

Clydebank Rebuilt : Titan Crane Restoration and Illumination

We were approached by Clydebank Rebuilt to carry out a feasibility study to consider a variety of options for potential illumination and regeneration of the landmark Titan Crane in Clydebank.

Titan Crane (Clydebank Crane) images by Chris Stewart Architects Ltd

Clydebank Rebuilt, Titan Crane
Arrol Crane, John Brown’s Shipyard, Clydebank

This has developed into a full preservation project with the intended installation of a public viewing gallery and feature lighting.

The William Arrol, Grade ‘A’ listed crane is currently in poor condition, requiring considerable restoration, in doing so care must be taken to maintain the detail and aged appearance of the crane while retaining its unique character.

A proposed new visitor centre with viewing deck will incorporate a passenger lift and secondary stairwell adjacent to the main vertical structure of the crane. It is also being considered to make the main lifting mechanism of the original crane operable again as a feature of the attraction.

A crane of this type is an inherently difficult structure to light due to it’s skeletal form. Our lighting design is sympathetic to the original function of the crane, which originally had working lights at cab level to illuminate the quayside below. This will be reintroduced with the addition of feature white lighting to the crane legs and structure, and an obstacle beacon at the highest point.

The original cab, winch and electrical rooms will be subtly illuminated with white light on the external face, and filled with coloured light internally. An animated coloured lighting installation will illuminate a stainless steel protective mesh across the jib of the crane. The colours from the lights will cycle slowly and gently through a carefully programmed, seasonally adapted sequence, giving the appearance of movement and activity, which is visible from the area below. The contemporary lighting to the underside of the jib would provide a complimentary contrast with the traditional white lighting to the original functional elements of the crane, illuminated white.

Due to tidal movements, parts of the area directly below the crane is submerged twice a day.

It is hoped that the new development could provide a vital physical and visual connection between the industrial Clydebank of the 20th Century and the evolving contemporary Clydebank in the 21st Century.

Titan Crane – Building Information

Client: Clydebank Rebuilt
Contract sum: circa £1.5m
Date Completed: autumn 2004

Further info re Titan Crane Restoration and Illumination contact:
Adrian Stewart, chris stewart architects ltd, Glasgow – 0141 339 2244

Clydebank Crane History

The Clydebank Crane is the only Grade ‘A’ listed structure in Clydebank.

It is one of five Titans designed for the Clyde shipyards by William Arrol. The Crane was one of the key targets for destruction in WWII but managed to survive the blitz.

Clydebank Rebuilt submitted plans in Mar 2005 for a £12m project by Austin Smith Lord: 285 flats & offices in Clydebank.

They are helping to develop the Clydebank Business Park, the principal employment hub in the town, created during the 1980/90’s; and the John Knox Street Project with workshop buildings by Gordon Murray & Alan Dunlop Architects

Another Titan Crane can be found at the Former John Brown Shipyard, Clydebank, Scotland – Clydebank College
Clydebank College Building
Titan Crane beyond image from Jenkins & Marr Architects

Glasgow Walking Tours

River Clyde Glasgow Buildings

Finnieston Crane

River Clyde

Armadillo Glasgow

Glasgow Transport Museum

SECC Glasgow

Glasgow Building Designs

Contemporary Glasgow Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

New Blue Sky Lounge at Ibrox Stadium
Blue Sky Lounge Ibrox Stadium Glasgow
image courtesy of Rangers FC
Blue Sky Lounge at Ibrox Stadium

University of Glasgow ARC
University of Glasgow Advanced Research Centre building
photo courtesy of UoG
University of Glasgow Advanced Research Centre

Chris Stewart Architects Glasgow building design project – Springboig Avenue

Historic Glasgow : best buildings of the past

Comments / photos for the Titan Crane restoration + illumination by Chris Stewart Architects page welcome

Clydebank Rebuilt – Website: www.clydebankrebuilt.co.uk