The Wexford Opera House. Photo: Ros Kavanagh ; The Wexford Opera House. Photo: Ros Kavanagh ;

National Opera House, Wexford

Creating high quality acoustics for a new opera house

The National Opera House is the new home for Wexford Festival Opera, created on the site of the old Theatre Royal.

In order to minimise disruption to the venue's programme of opera festivals, the time allowed for construction was very limited. Demolition of the existing theatre started the day after the 2005 festival finished and the new building was completed in time for the 2008 festival.

Arup worked in close partnership with the Office of Public Works providing acoustic design services to create a world-class acoustic environment that enhances opera performance.

Key to the project was retaining the balance between old and new. Arup's work ensured the best acoustic qualities of the old Theatre Royal weren't just recreated but augmented.

After the Opera House reopened the first festival season, it received critical acclaim for the acoustics in national and international press. It has since won a number of awards worldwide, including the Civic Trust Awards 2010, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Excellence in Design Award 2010, Zurich Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Award 2009, Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) Award 2009, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) European Award 2009 and Bank of Ireland Opus Architecture and Construction Award 2008.