Our FutureThe building will reflect the physical embodiment of our musical ambitions. It will be a multi-auditorium venue of which we can all be proud: well designed, well-managed and well maintained. It will be a national icon and a must-see destination for visitors. For our audiences it will place where they want to come and spend time - a haven, a place of inspiration: open, accessible and engaging.
This refurbishment will be a milestone in the evolution of our historic site and buildings ensuring we can make it a significant attraction for locals, for visitors to Dublin and most especially for visitors to Ireland.
The plans for the redevelopment of the National Concert Hall include:
- The complete refurbishment and upgrading of the Main Auditorium to ensure a world class stage, superb acoustics and technical facilities, all accessibility issues resolved and more comfortable seating with improved wheelchair access
- The conversion of the old medical library into a state of the art chamber hall with capacity for up to 500 seats
- Improved and enhanced additional public spaces, bars, restaurants, cafés, and retail facilities
- Dedicated education spaces
- A rehearsal space for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
- Improved artist and back-stage facilities
- Ancillary spaces for corporate and patron engagement and informal performances
Phase one of the refurbishment programme has been complete with the renovation of the Kevin Barry Recital Room. This was the setting for the Treaty ratification debates of the second Dáil Éireann in 1921, and has been transformed into a small recital space which was officially opened on Monday 11th April 2016 as part of the Ireland 2016 commemorations, as one of seven ‘Permanent Reminder’ capital projects. The space consists of three interconnecting rooms on the first floor of the main façade of the National Concert Hall. Forming part of a replacement façade built between 1914 and 1919 and designed by the Irish architect R.M. Butler (later Professor of Architecture at UCD) the rooms were originally designed as the Council Chamber of University College Dublin. Between December 14th 1921 and January 10th 1922 these rooms were the setting for the treaty ratification debates of the first Dáil Éireann, following the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty in London on December 6th.
The opening season of events includes classical chamber music, traditional music, jazz, contemporary music, spoken word and lectures, and currently running is a photographic exhibition on the history of the space dating back to the Treaty debates. For more details check out our What's On listing.
Further work will continue around the Kevin Barry Recital Room which will see access problems resolved by opening up the existing marble staircase to the main foyer and the addition of a lift. The foyer area on the first floor will become a bright and relaxed public space, with access to a new atrium ‘winter garden' café.