Major Projects

The Convention Centre Dublin

The Convention Centre Dublin
Convention Centre, Dublin
Architect: Kevin Roche
Project Status: Open
Completion Date: September 2010
Description: Designed by top Irish architect Kevin Roche, the €380m Convention Centre is one of the finest landmark buildings ever planned for the capital city.

This landmark building was designed by Pritzker award-winning Irish architect Kevin Roche, and features a stunning glass fronted atrium running the full height of the building - giving visitors panoramic views of the River Liffey, Dublin city centre and the Wicklow mountains. This tilted glass cylinder - 54 meters high and 39 meters in diameter - intersects the granite wall of the south facade, creating a partial parabola. The glass cylinder opens up to the activities inside and makes for a highly visible entrance.

Conceived as part of the overall Spencer Dock Development, located on a site adjacent to the Royal Canal between North Wall Quay and Mayor Street, the Conference Centre embodies a well considered program of conference facilities designed to attract the international conference and associated exhibitions market to Dublin.  The Centre is composed of a number of different elements, which can function separately or in concert, to meet a variety of conferencing, exhibitions, and small meeting demands. The building is 45,921 square metres in size. The Main Exhibition Hall, located at the ground floor level, can be subdivided into two parts for dual purpose usage. A second Exhibition Hall, similar in size, can be converted into two auditoriums. A raked floor auditorium, capable of housing up to 2,000 people, is located on the second floor of the complex. The auditorium is a fully equipped hall capable of accommodating many events, from international conferences and meetings to product shows, multi-media presentations, orchestra performances, musical theatre, and opera.

Kevin Roche (born 14th June 1922) was born in Dublin, but grew up in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, and was educated at Rockwell College, before studying architecture at University College Dublin. After graduation in 1945, he worked with Michael Scott on the Busáras project for a short while, but contributed to the external appearance of the finished building on the pavilion storey. He left Dublin in 1948 and worked with Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew before he emigrated to the United States to study with Mies van der Rohe. Instead of returning to Ireland, he got a job with Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) and Associates from 1951 until 1961. Here he worked in the planning department before becoming chief associate in 1956. After Saarinen's death he continued the practice in partnership with the structural engineer John Dinkeloo (1918-1981) under the name Roche and Dinkeloo. Here, he completed such projects as the Gateways Arch at St. Louis, Missouri, and the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport. In 1982, he won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the most prestigious award in architecture, the equivalent of a Nobel Prize and one of many awards that he has received. In all, Roche has been responsible for some 51 major projects in the period 1962-82. Paul Goldberger, a New York Times architecture critic, described Roche as "one of the most creative designers in glass that the 20th century has produced," and "a brilliantly innovative designer; his work manages to be inventive without ever falling into the trap of excessive theatricality."

For more information

‘Bua an Eolais' (The Gift of Knowledge'), a projection installation to celebrate the opening of the Convention Centre Dublin


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