The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art, Dublin

  • Architect: Smith & Kennedy Architects, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin

Designed to renew and inspire Irish theatre, film and television, the Lir Academy has grown out of a converted and extended two-storey warehouse in Trinity College Dublin’s Industrial Enterprise Centre. 

The location, away from the academic setting of the university campus, allowed a more artisan approach to design with internal untreated steel and exposed concrete walls, zinc cladding to staircases and circulation spaces, and upper rooms opened up to give a great sense of space and light. 

To improve acoustics, parallel surfaces were avoided.This was reflected in the tapered roof slab and on the outer fac?ade brickwork, which was raked at each course to achieve an angled effect (Figure 1).

Externally, the black box nature of the main studios is expressed through a combination of dark blue standard and linear bricks, creating a dramatic visual effect and forming a unique canvas on the front fac?ade to accommodate temporary art installations, as a link to the wider arts community.

An unusual feature of this building was the use of dark blue Linear bricks under slung to create edges for soffits, which were lined with matching Linear FastWallTM panels to complete the dramatic exterior effect. 

We wanted a lot from the design of this building - foremost a state of the art facility, built specifically for the actors who will inhabit it, but also as a place that could become a cultural hub, opening its doors at night to the public for performances...

Drama Academy Development Company - Client 


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