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Visual and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Carlow, Ireland by Terry Pawson Architects

[FIRST LOOK + PROJECT DATA] Terry Pawson’s recently completed contemporary arts centre and theatre in Carlow, Ireland, opens to the public this Saturday (26 September)

The 18 million euros (£16.2 million) project, which has been named the Visual, was won following an open architectural competition organised by the Royal Institute of Architects Ireland (RIAI) in 2004.

Housing the 350-seat George Bernard Shaw Theatre, the finished three-storey 3,726 m² scheme is much larger than the original contest-winning proposal – an expansion made possible by the local council’s approval to remove a neighbouring ruined stone wall.

The the new building, which sits in the centre of Carlow town in the grounds of St Patrick’s College, features an ‘expansive gallery space’ with a ceiling height of 12m to accommodate large-scale sculpture and installation.

The practice describe the landmark ‘as an assembly of different sized volumes clad in opaque glass raised on a concrete plinth, with the largest gallery at its centre and smaller galleries and theatre spiralling around it. Designed to be viewed from all angles, [the building] confidently asserts its architectural form to visitors who arrive on foot through the grounds of the college and to those who arrive by car from the car park to the rear.’

‘The muteness of the opaque glass harmonises with the neutral grey of the town’s local limestone.’

Read a full project description in the attached document (right)

Project Data

Design Team: Terry Pawson, Jeremy Browne (Project Director), Gustav Ader, Justyna Pollak,
Natalie Galland, Andy Summers, Andy Gowing, Sebastian Reinehr
Commissioning client: Carlow County Council
Project funding: Carlow County Council, Department of Arts Sport & Tourism
Structural engineer: Arup, Dublin
Services engineer: Arup, Dublin
Quantity surveyor: Nolan Ryan Tweeds, Kilkenny
Theatre consultant: Theatre Project Consultants, London
Acoustician: Acoustic Dimensions, Coventry
Gallery consultant: Bruce McAllister, Bembridge
Contractor: BAM (formerly Rohcon), Kill

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