Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC)
Two theatres with associated rehearsal space, three art galleries, a dance studio, a suite of eight workshop and education spaces, as well as a cafĂ© and bar on a wedged shaped site next to some of Belfastâ€™s oldest buildings
The theatre's entrance and seven-storey honed basalt tower, capped with a three-story glass lantern, faces a small square. The short red brick facade on Exchange Street is sliced open the to form a wedge-like second entrance to the building. Both entrances are connected by a cranked internal foyer around which the galleries and theatres are arranged.
Sandwiching this internal street, which is lit from three rectangular slots in the roof, are two blocks; one with a punctured brick skin imitating the exterior, the other a solid concrete form modulated by board-markings.
Stacked vertically, the lower levels contain cafĂ©, bar and entrances to a flexible 350-seat auditorium and a 120-seat studio space with retractable seats.
Above this are publicly accessible visual arts rooms, on the third floor, three temperature and humidity controlled white-box spaces, each with a single sliding shutter that allows views out and daylight in. On the fifth floor, there is a 280 square metre, six metre-high gallery, and above this are more private floors, housing experimental and education spaces where local and international artists can prepare new work.
- Begun: Dec 2009
- Completed: Feb 2012
- Floor area: 5,600m2
- Sector: Arts and culture
- Total cost: £13.3M
- Procurement: SBC 05 with two-stage tendering
- Address: 10 Exchange Street West, Belfast, BT1 2NJ, United Kingdom
- Architect: Hackett Hall McKnight
- Client: The MAC
- Structural engineer: Buro Happold
- M&E consultant: Buro Happold
- Quantity surveyor: Johnston Houston
- Theatre consultant: Carr & Angier
- Acoustic consultant: Buro Happold
- BREEAM consultant: Buro Happold
- Fire engineer: White Young Green
- Project manager: URS
- CDM coordinator: Johnston Houston
- Main contractor: Bowen Mascott Joint Venture