Lyric Theatre [ENG]
[ENG] - On a steeply sloping river frontage within a tightly-knit area of brick terrace houses the new Lyric Theatre is a striking new home for a theatre with a unique status in Belfast – this is Northern Ireland’s only repertory theatre. The architects respond to the considerable design challenges of its location with gusto.
This is a public facility in a domestic environment and requires large volumes to accommodate the auditorium, studio and rehearsal room; it meets that challenge admirably. The line of brick terraces seems to flow into the façade, drawing the visitors inside and upward.
The theatre is modest and self-confident, deferential and assertive. The dramatic entry stairs, the areas for gathering, the tactility of the fittings all lead to the enveloping, dark and dramatic space of the timber-lined, intimate 380 seat auditorium.
The quality of the interior spaces, its sensitive response to a challenging site and the expansion of the Lyric’s ability to function literally behind the scenes make this a stunning accomplishment and a pleasure to spend time in. In its acoustics, in the quality of its backstage as well as its front of house facilities the new Lyric has drawn praise from many international performers and given Northern Ireland a national theatre of its own.
The building culminates in the fourth annexe, a ‘sky pavilion’ lifted above the cubic office volume to create a rooftop loggia and garden. This disengaged volume contains a series of meeting, dining and function rooms offering panoramic views across the City.