Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

  • Flexibly-designed to accommodate ballet, musical and opera productions.
  • Architect Daniel Libeskind’s first theatre, with a capacity of 2,100 seats.
  • Delivered on time and within budget in less than three years.

The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre is a landmark project in Ireland. This impressive five-storey, 2,100-seat theatre enhances the new urban structure of Grand Canal Harbour – a commercial development on the waterfront in Dublin´s Docklands.

The venue has pushed the boundaries of design, balancing iconic architecture with the functional requirements of a state-of-the-art touring theatre. One reason for the success of this challenging project was the integrated way we worked – Arup provided acoustic design and technical theatre systems consultancy, as well as civil, structural, building services and traffic engineering.

Engineering to delight

Built within an angular form designed by Daniel Libeskind, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre is a functional and complex building. The size and shape of the auditorium is driven by acoustics and theatre requirements. A host of engineering accomplishments remain largely hidden behind the elegant lines, stunning entrance and captivating auditorium.

With the design coordinated well in advance of specialist contractors being appointed, the building was completed on time and within budget in less than three years. The design team kept to the demanding programme and achieved the ambitious aspirational aesthetic through teamwork, coordination and a shared desire to excel.

The building brings beautiful engineering to life and shows that local Irish engineering companies can deliver world-class buildings. The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre combines aesthetics, quality and energy-efficiency, without compromising the architectural vision. The engineering solutions, the complexity of noise controls on the air systems, the lighting, the acoustic modelling and the structural support spans and connections, are all leading-edge.

The building matches the subtlety with which the space is designed – not just in terms of the architecture but also in terms of the engineering.


  • Showing landscaping and opening to atrium of Bord Gáis Energy TheatreOpen gallery

    Iconic architectural design was carefully balanced with the functional requirements of a state-of-the-art touring theatre.

  • Grand Canal Theatre. Credit: Arup/Ros Kavanagh Photographer.Open gallery

    Arup provided design for the auditorium acoustics, stage and technical theatre facilities.

  • Arup's Raj Patel discusses design performance spaces using the Sound Lab.Play video

    Watch: Designing performing arts spaces with Arup's SoundLab.