Dublin National Concert Hall | 3XN architects

• February 24, 2011

Danish architectural practice 3XN is one of two finalists in the prestigious competition to design Dublin’s new National Concert Hall. The competition was initiated in 2008 and the shortlist of renowned architects was soon narrowed down to two competing teams lead by Danish Architects; 3XN and Henning Larsen Architects. It is quite unique that two Danish studios come head to head in the final round of an international competition of this scope. Both teams have delivered spectacular designs for a world class concert hall to meet the client’s high ambitions for the project. Unfortunately the competition has now been cancelled due to lack of financing as a result of Ireland’s fragile economic situation and the client will not appoint a final winner.

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Dublin National Concert Hall, render courtesy 3XN architects

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Dublin National Concert Hall, render courtesy 3XN architectsarchitects

+ Project description by 3XN

3XNs proposal for the Dublin National Concert Hall is a sculptural showcase which creates a magnificent new home for music, while also providing a framework for the historical context upon which the new concert hall sits. The new building provides a zone where the urban and park settings come together expressing their own symphony in addition to the music coming from within.

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Dublin National Concert Hall, render courtesy 3XN architectsarchitects

Dublin National Concert Hall is composed of three sculptural volumes, each of which contains its own unique Concert Hall. The three Halls are linked at the Grand Entrance through the historic Butler building and via a plinth; with the organic foyer promoting flow and social interaction between the three Halls. As amongst buildings in a city, the foyer flows between the Halls like small lively streets that contract and expand to meet the demands of the new structure.

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Dublin National Concert Hall, render courtesy 3XN architectsarchitects

From the grand main entrance at Earlsfort Terrace through the floating foyers and down into the historic Iveagh Gardens, the city’s urban environment quite distinctly meets and transitions into the park. From the garden side, a transparent façade cascades down from the three Concert Hall volumes drawing the gardens forth into the foyer and extending into a new public plaza towards Hatch Street.

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Dublin National Concert Hall, render courtesy 3XN architectsarchitects

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Dublin National Concert Hall, render courtesy 3XN architectsarchitects

Acoustically, Dublin Concert Hall was planned to be amongst the top Concert Halls in the world. Working with the leaders in acoustics (Larry Kierkegaard from Chicago), stage design (Charcoal Blue from London) and lighting (Steven Scott from Denmark), 3XN has aimed to surpass the expectations. The programming is such that the three Halls complement each other in size, function and acoustic objectives. Hall 1 is designed to be reminiscent of the fine lines and interior of a fine classical wooden instrument; providing a warm intimacy between musicians and patrons. Hall 2 should be restored to its original glory with its classic layout and respect for tradition. Hall 3 is designed to be the most flexible and multi-functional of the three Halls.

+ Project credits / data

Project: National Concert Hall
Location: Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin, Ireland
Client: National Development Finance Agency (NDFA)
Size: 28,232 m2
Competition: One of two final contestants in invited competition 2008
Architect: 3XN | http://www.3xn.dk/
Engineer: DBFL, Varming, MSA, G4S
Contractor: PJ Hegarty & Sons
Consultants: International Public Partnership, Amber Infrastructure, Kirkegaard Associates (acousticians), Charcoalblue, (Theatre Consultant), Nolan Ryan Tweeds (quantity surveyor)
Typology: Culture | Concert hall

+ All images courtesy 3XN
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Category: Architecture, Culture

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