Irish Arts Center


The Irish Arts Center (IAC) is a home for cultural exchange with Ireland, a place for creation and development of new productions, a venue that supports cross-collaborations between US and Irish artists in many disciplines, and a center for educational programs that serves both the Irish-American and larger community. For most of its existence, the IAC operated out of a converted three-story tenement building, whose ground floor garage was transformed into a small theater. Our new expansion develops an adjacent new building on 11th Avenue which is connected to the original facility, creating a center with two venues, as well as associated support, classroom, and rehearsal space.

The renovated and expanded IAC houses a 199-seat flexible theater, rehearsal studio classroom, multi-purpose classroom, exhibit areas, and a café as well as the restored 99-seat historic theater. It provides spaces for collaboration among the creative disciplines of music, theater, dance, film, comedy, literature and the visual arts. The new theater is used for drama, spoken word and music, and was designed to provide a flexible and neutral backdrop for set design while retaining a distinct character when used as a music venue. The solution was an interior of dark stained sacrificial plywood panels that allow for the adaptability of a “black box” yet still provides a sense of warmth and richness when the lights are on.

  • Client: Irish Arts Center
  • Architect: Davis Brody Bond
  • Acoustician: Jaffe Holden Acoustics
  • Completion Year: 2020
  • Location: New York, New York
  • Size: 21,700sf
  • Capacity: 199 seats

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