University College Dublin

Competition, First Prize

The brief was to house three existing departments of the University and to establish a centre for teaching, training and research in the performing arts, film and theatre. It was intended to provide an accessible arts venue for the wider population.

Area: 4,500 sqm
Design: 1999

The project is characterised as a forum – a robust workplace for staff and students and a meeting place for the public with the cultural life of the college. There are no closed corridors, all the circulation areas are open to give expression to the diversity of functions and to enhance the everyday life of the centre.

The public entrance is between the screening areas and performance spaces, in direct visual contact with the box office and café. The student entrance is from the south-facing forecourt between the sound stage, rehearsal and backstage facilities. Formal and informal entrances are designed in counterpoint and the concourse is the confluence of the two streams of approach.