Clasach Centre for Traditional Arts


Clasach Centre for Traditional Arts


Deaton Lysaght Architects




Joinery, Educational

GEM provided joinery, including distinctive external cladding, for the Clasach Centre in Clontarf, a new regional resource centre for the promotion and development of traditional arts.

A Centre for Ireland’s Cultural Heritage

Recognising the need for a central location where traditional art could be taught and performed, Dublin City Council donated a site in Clontarf, on land reclaimed from Dublin Bay. Funded in part by contributions from the Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture, and designed by architects Deaton Lysaght, the Centre, which covers an area of 2055 square metres, was completed at a cost of €7,600,000.

In addition to an outdoor sunken amphitheater, there are two distinct buildings: a theatre with flexible seating for up to 340 people, and an administrative building housing the library and research space, as well as office, rehearsal. and teaching facilities. There are also bars and meeting spaces, and a teach ceoil, which can be used for small-scale performances and dancing. The theatre can be adapted as a banqueting space, making this a truly multi-functional area.

Cladding and Glazing

Materials used were a carefully-considered combination of traditional and modern, reflecting the Centre’s heritage and contemporary function. The theatre is faced with aluminum panels, with cedar cladding filling in between the segments. Inside the ancillary building, stone flooring and oak joinery contrast with stainless steel. The exterior uses textured Parga granite facing with Iroko window surrounds. The angles of the theatre contrast with the more classical shape of the ancillary building.

GEM’s work on the centre included

  • large bespoke screens with glazing
  • external windows & doors with louvred areas
  • Iroko prefinished cladding.

A Focal Point

Clasac has become a focal point for performers, teachers and students of traditional Irish arts, both within Ireland and internationally. Amongst other functions, it is a permanent home for a choir, music and dance ensembles, and festival groups.