o'donnell + tuomey: lyric theatre in belfast
o'donnell + tuomey: lyric theatre in belfast o'donnell + tuomey: lyric theatre in belfast
jul 30, 2012

o'donnell + tuomey: lyric theatre in belfast

irish firm o’donnell + tuomey‘s ‘lyric theatre belfasy’ in belfast, ireland has been recently nominated for the RIBA stirling prize. situated at the end of a street of brick residences, a contemporary box-like structure borders parkland and the river lagan. replacing an older center, the current building footprint is formed by the constrants of the landscape to form a site-specific experience. the interior hosts an auditorium, rehearsal spaces and studio theatre as well as reception, cafe, offices and educational room. worked into the sloping terrain, the public areas are enclosed with hardwood timber windows to overlook the outside scenery, connecting visitors with their natural surroundings.


a gand stairway within a foyer leads to the diverse funcitonal areas. the theatre’s raked seating accommodates 389 spectators, uninterrupted from the performance by balconies. the parabolic arrangement offers every individual optimal site lines. creased along a central line, a panoramic perspective of neighboring onlookers are given without losing focus on the show. three timber arches surfaced with a faceted acoustical material produces an intimacy despite the ceiling height. a brick studio with a 6 meter tall space offers a flexible warehouse-style layout for additional staging options.

view from the streetscape
image © dennis gilbert (also main image)| all images courtesy of o’donnell + tuomey

entry facade
image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

side elevation
image © dennis gilbert

terracing leads from the street to the parkland
image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

nearby river lagan
image © dennis gilbert

view from river
image © dennis gilbert

rear elevation
image © dennis gilbert

entry from river and parkland
image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

image © dennis gilbert

at night
image © dennis gilbert

context plan

site plan

floor plan / level 0
1. entrance / lower foyer
2. box office
3. education room
4. boardroom
5. toilets
6. backstage
7. green room
8. dressing room
9. classroom
10. storage
11. prop store
12. understage

floor plan / level 1
1. upper entrance
2. upper foyer
3. bar / cafe
4. kitchen
5. studio
6. dressing room
7. backstage
8. stage
9. scene dock
10. loading bay
11. terrace

floor plan / level 2
1. rehearsal
2. office
3. foyer
4. void
5. auditorium
6. studio gallery
7. backstage
8. wardrobe
9. prop workshop
10. storage
11. prop store
12. understage

floor plan / level 3
1. rehearsal void
2. office
3. staff room
4. studio grid
5. foyer (admin level)
6. control room
7. translation room
8. events room
9. fly-tower
10. terrace
11. storage
12. plant




elevation and context

watercolor rendering

watercolor rendering



project info:


architects: o’donnell & tuomey
project director: richard wakely
project management: ec harris llp
contractor: gilbert-ash n.i. limited
cost consultants: rider levett bucknall
structural engineer: horgan lynch
services consultant: in2 engineering design partnership
acoustics: sound space design
theatre consultants: theatreplan
rps consulting engineers: traffic impact assessment
access consultant & cdm coordinator: ken ewart associates
capital working group: sid mcdowell cbe, philip cheevers
fundraising committee: professor sir george bain, mark carruthers
development director: angela mccloskey
investment decision makers: arts council of northern ireland, department of culture, arts and leisure

  • Great work!
    loved how it blends with the city. The spaces are big, as probably is demanded by the type of use of the building, but still humane, comfortable. I´d love to visit.

    Solele73 says:
  • Beauty!!!!

    ayla says:

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