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Belfast City Hall, Belfast

Replicating the largest chandelier in Ireland

As part of the £12 million programme to renovate Belfast City Hall, we designed and manufactured what is believed to be the largest chandelier in Ireland.

The intention was to replicate the light fitting that was installed in the City Hall when it opened in 1906 but damaged beyond repair when the building was bombed in 1941. However, the only reference material available was photography from the turn of the century – it’s not known what became of the original chandelier.

The new 1.3 tonne chandelier was fitted to the top of the City Hall’s impressive dome in its entrance hall – around 20 metres above ground level. Made from brass and hand finished in powder bronze, it has more than 100 glass shades, which have been designed to accommodate low energy lamps, while giving the same appearance and feel of the original fitting. To ensure the chandelier maintained its radiance, specialist electrical raise and lower equipment was installed so that it can be cleaned in situ.

We also manufactured 69 three light chandeliers with glass tulip shades, many of which incorporate emergency lighting using the latest LED technology. In addition, we restored many of the Hall’s other chandeliers to their former glory.

Sam Graham, project manager at Belfast City Hall, said: “Having worked with Dernier & Hamlyn when they replicated chandeliers for the Great Hall, we were confident in their abilities. This chandelier is truly magnificent and fulfils everything we hoped for by combining important lighting history with current regulations and low energy requirements.”

Norman McKnight of NMK Engineering, who project managed the installation and led the research programme added: “Dernier & Hamlyn are acknowledged experts in the design and manufacture of statement light fittings for historic and contemporary settings. Working with them on this project was extremely rewarding on every level.”​