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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Grand Canal Square Theatre and Commercial Development in Dublin, Docklands by Daniel Libeskind Architect

April 2nd, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

The concept of the Grand Canal Square Theatre and Commercial Development is to build a powerful cultural presence expressed in dynamic volumes sculpted to project a fluid and transparent public dialogue with the cultural, commercial and residential surroundings whilst communicating the various inner forces intrinsic to the Theatre and office buildings. This composition creates a dynamic urban gathering place and icon mirroring the joy and drama emblematic of Dublin itself.

GCT Opening Night Exterior, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

  • Architects:Daniel Libeskind Architect
  • Project: Grand Canal Square Theatre and Commercial Development
  • Location: Dublin, Docklands
  • Address: Grand Canal Square 3, Dublin 2, Ireland
  • Software used: AutoCAD, Rhino

Gross Building Area

  • South Office block: 21,092 sq.m / 226,992 sq.ft (including basement)
  • Theatre: 13,768 sq.m / 148,171 sq.ft (including basement)
  • North Office block: 33,320 sq.m / 358,590 sq.ft (including basement)

Other Building Details

  • South Block: 7 Floors over basement
  • Theatre: 7 Floors over basement
  • North Block: 7 Floors over basement


  • Theatre + Commercial: €196M / $269.9M USD
  • Theatre Budget: € 75M / $101.8M USD

Principal Architect: Stefan Blach

Project Architect & Project Team Leader: Gerhard Brun

Project Team: Feargal Doyle, Patrick Cox, Andreas Baumgärtner, Matthias Rühl, Toralf Sümmchen, Anna Poullou, Guillaume Chapallaz, Nathaniel Lloyd, Jens Jessen, Jens Hoffman, Kaori Hirasawa, Luca Mangione, Anja Bungies and Christian Müller

Services provided by Architekt Daniel Libeskind AG

  • Theatre: Building envelope, FOH and Auditorium; RIAI Stages 1-8
  • Commercial: Building envelope, Lobby & Atrium spaces; RIAI stages 1-4

Starting Date

  • 2004: Competition, early concept phase
  • Dec. 2006: from RIAI stage 2, under contract with Ramford Limited

Completion Date

  • South Block Office: September 2009
  • Theatre: December 2009
  • North Block Office: Mid-2010

Client: Ramford Limited, Chartered Land

Project Management: Lafferty Project Management

Executive Architect: McCauley Daye O’Connell Architects

Theatre Consultants & ArtsTeam Architects

  • Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon PKS – Dublin
  • Structural / Civil: ARUP Consulting Engineers – Dublin
  • Mechanical & Electrical: ARUP Consulting Engineers – Dublin
  • Acoustic Consultants: ARUP Acoustics – Winchester, UK
  • Venue Consultants: ARUP Venue Consulting – Winchester, UK
  • Façade Consultants: Billings Design Associates – Dublin
  • Lighting Designers: Pritchard Themis – London, UK
  • Fire Engineers: Michael Slattery Associates – Dublin
  • Health & Safety: Bruce Shaw Partnership- Dublin
  • Main Contractor: John Sisk & Son Ltd. – Dublin

Façade Sub-Contractor

  • Theatre Volume: Stainless steel rain screen cladding panels on reinforced concrete and steel structure with strips of high performance glazing.
  • Theatre Glass Curtain: High performance glazing with exposed polyester powder coated pre-fabricated steel box sections.
  • Commercial Buildings: Low-iron unitized twin skin glazing system with geometric ceramic frit patterns with solar / glare perforated venetian blinds and capped unitized curtain walling with fixed blade louvers.

Theatre Hall, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

The 2000 seat Grand Canal Theatre is a landmark that creates a focus for its urban context, specifically Grand Canal Square, the new urban piazza at the waterfront of Grand Canal Harbour. The architectural concept of the Theatre is based on stages: the stage of the Theatre itself, the stage of the piazza, and the stage of the multiple level Theatre lobby above the piazza. The Theatre becomes the main façade of a large public piazza that has a five star hotel and residences on one side and an office building on the other. The piazza acts as a grand outdoor lobby for the Theatre, itself becoming a stage for civic gathering with the dramatic Theatre elevation as a backdrop offering platforms for viewing. From its rooftop terrace, the Theatre offers spectacular views out over the Dublin Harbour.

Theatre Facade, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

The Theatre is integrated into the Commercial Development by office buildings that include 45,500 square meters of leasable office and retail space. With their twin facades, glazed atriums and landscaped roofs, the two office blocks offer sustainable state of the art work environments. By designing multi-story glazed atriums, the commercial buildings integrate with the adjacent retail, residential, cultural and public space components. Three prominent entrances make the buildings accessible from Grand Canal Square, Misery Hill and from Cardiff Lane. Although both offices are designed in the same architectural language, each responds to its site uniquely. Two Grand Canal Square (South Block), which is adjacent to the new 2,000 seat Theatre, opens up towards the Square, while Four & Five Grand Canal Square (North Block), in conjunction with the Theatre, form a dramatic gateway to Dublin Harbour.

Theatre Facade, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

The Grand Canal Square Development enhances the new urban structure of Grand Canal Harbor with an exciting cultural landmark and magnet for Dublin, a destination for working, shopping, and entertainment. The Theatre will open in March, 2010 with the opening of the office blocks scheduled for mid 2010 and 2011.

Theatre Facade, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

Theatre 2, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

Theatre 1, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

Office Facade, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

Office, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

Office 2, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

Grand Canal Theatre, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

Grand Canal Theatre 2, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

GCT Opening Night Interior, Image Courtesy Ros Kavanagh

View of Grand Canal Theatre

View of lobby in Grand Canal Theatre, Image Courtesy Jarek Matla

View of the main facade of Grand Canal Theatre at the opening

View of the main facade of Grand Canal Theatre

View of Grand Canal Theatre, Image Courtesy Jarek Matla

Contact Daniel Libeskind Architect

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Categories: Autocad, Community Centre, Rhino, Theater

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