A new cultural center celebrating Irish art, heritage and performance has arrived at Hell’s Kitchen. Located at 726 Eleventh Avenue, the new Irish Arts Center is now open to the public following an intimate gathering of elected officials, community leaders, Irish delegates and patrons.
Prior to the completion of the new building, the former Irish Arts Center operated in a converted three-story building with modest performance space on the ground floor. To expand its operations, the center purchased an adjacent building on Eleventh Avenue and joined them to form a unified four-story structure under the direction of Davis Brody Bond.
“When I first visited the old Irish Arts Center in 2009, this new building was only imaginary,” said Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin. “The Irish government is proud to have supported this new building, which is a new cultural landmark in New York City, a celebration of Ireland-US relations and a platform for creativity, innovation and diversity.
Today, the new Irish Arts Center has a 199-seat theater and a more intimate 99-seat second performance space, as well as several classrooms, exhibition and gallery spaces and ‘A coffee. Scheduled performances include a mix of dance, spoken word, plays and musicals, films and comedies, all focused on artists born and descended from Ireland.
Other members of the project team include theater design firm Fisher Dachs Associates and audiovisual consultants Jaffe Holden Acoustics.
“As architects, we took on the challenge of preserving and incorporating the original brick facade of a relatively modest two-story garage, knowing that this would perfectly integrate the new building into an unspoiled streetscape of pre-war buildings, ”said Carl, Davis Brody Bond partner. Krebs. “Exhibiting the rough construction bricks of the garage inside the building also reveals a connection to the New York tradition of turning industrial spaces into incubators for the arts. “
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