The National Concert Hall has an ambition to be one of the world’s great centres for music, a centre which will be a symbol of national pride for Irish people everywhere. But above all a centre for music which will enable the NCH to best deliver on its statutory remit for music, the arts, for culture and for our nation.
Together with the Office of Public Works, the NCH has prepared a development plan for the Earlsfort Terrace complex which is scheduled to be completed between now and 2027. When complete, the NCH will be a truly national centre for music, curating music projects for all audiences and for future generations.
Under Project Ireland 2040, the Government has committed to a major investment to deliver on these plans with the aim of delivering on the vision for the NCH.
The key features of the development masterplan include:
- A newly-refurbished and extended main auditorium with increased capacity of 1,350 seats, improved musician’s facilities, improved foyer areas, an enlarged stage with piano and hydraulic stage lifts, a new ventilation system, improved backstage and storage areas, replaced seats, floors, doors, new lift access, re-roofing, fire safety works, rewiring, and full redecoration;
- the re-organisation of public facilities, including a newly-designed and enlarged main foyer, with new access to historic marbled stairs, relocation of the restaurant, a new Winter Garden café, new guest facilities, reception and booking offices, new lift access and upgraded mechanical and electrical services;
- the refurbishment and restoration of the historic and currently redundant 1865 block adjacent to the main auditorium for musicians’ facilities, storage and side-stage areas;
- extension of the John Field Room and the provision of additional performance spaces;
- refurbishment of the former Medical Library to serve as a National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) rehearsal studio, with additional rehearsal, storage, office, catering and general facilities for the NSO;
- development of a new facility comprising a 500-seat recital hall and education and outreach centre on the site of the former UCD anatomy and pathology block areas; and
- development of a music education centre on the site of the former UCD pathology block area;
- the reinstatement and celebration of the site’s unique relationship with the Iveagh Gardens, incorporating a new plaza that responds to the original “principal terrace”, strong visual connections from ground and first floor, and a landscape strategy that integrates the site and gardens.
These development plans will ensure a world class experience for musicians and visitors alike and herald a new era for music in Ireland.
The current status of this project will see it move to planning in early 2021, with construction expected to commence in 2022.