Project Arts Centre

  • Location: Temple Bar
  • Architect: Shay Cleary Architects
  • Completed: 2002

The Project Arts Centre was established in 1966 as the first arts centre in Ireland.  Thirty years later it had outgrown its premises which was a dilapidated, mostly single storey industrial structure at the heart of Temple Bar. The redevelopment provided a totally new build facility for Project on the same site.  The brief requirements were to provide a Performance Space which would seat up to approximately 250 people, a Multi Purpose Space to include uses such as rehersal & dance, a Gallery / Visual Arts Space, Foyer / Box Office,Theatre Bar and Administration offices for Project Arts Centre.

As a result of the highly restrictive nature of the site a fundamental decision was made to locate the main auditorium /  performance space at first floor level, and that the Gallery and Multi Purpose Space be located below it at ground floor.  The volume of the performance space is set back from the street by 5m. to create a lower section in front of it addressing the street which contains the entrance foyer and an upper foyer.

The administrative function of Project is accommodated at second and third floor in the non public part of the building. The openness of the building at street level can be controlled via a series of sliding steel screens which can reveal the loading bay, the entrance foyer, or the workshop.  At first floor the upper foyer and theatre bar are highly glazed and act as a beacon and focus to the street.

While providing a new purpose built arts centre, in aesthetic terms the new Project will have resonances with a quasi-industrial aesthetic which maintains a continuity between the original and new building and which forms an important part of the memory of the original organisation from it’s inception.

Posted by Reflecting City Team on Wednesday, September 17, 2008
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