Belfast's Grand Opera House dates from 1894-5 and was designed by Frank Matcham, the leading theatre designer of the time. Arts Team designed an extension adjacent to Matcham's building, wrapping around it. The foyer entrance faces Great Victoria Street and the stage door Glengall Street.
David Evans, in Perspective, described the entrance foyer as "a jaunty consort to the old building. The sheer verve of the exterior treatment may raise eyebrows among traditionalists but this is an intelligent design that responds to the scale and materiality of its historic neighbour."
The site is prominent, with close connections to the commercial centre. The new building has helped create an all-day destination venue, rethinking the way foyer spaces work and dissolving the boundaries between performance area and foyers.
Metal gauze and frosted glass, ideal materials for dramatic lighting and theatrical effects, are used on the exterior of the public entrance, designed to foster a sense of openness and liveliness.
Belfast Grand Opera House extension
Gt Victoria St, Belfast, UK
clientBelfast Grand Opera House
£6m | autumn 2006
photo: Anthony Coleman