Name of the responsible structure: Project Arts Centre Ltd.
Type of structure: Company limited by guarantee, not for profit.
Profile of the initiators of the project : Project began as a three-week multi arts festival in November and December 1966. The venue was the Gate Theatre and the organisers were a theatre director and four visual artists.
Continent : Europe
Country : Ireland
Address/tel/fax :
39 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
Tel:+ 353 1 679 6622
Fax:+ 353 1 679 2310
Mail :
Website :
Contact : Willie White, Artistic Director

Project Arts Centre- Dublin


Project was founded in 1966 by four visual artists- John Behan, Michael Kane, John Kelly, Charlie Cullen - and a theatre practitioner/administrator, Colm O’Briain. Its aim was to provide an alternative venue for performing and visual artists.

In its early years, Project occupied a diverse range of premises. From its beginning as a three week festival at the Gate Theatre, Project moved to a two roomed gallery on the second floor of an engineering premises in Lower Abbey Street, then to the basement of the YMCA on the same street, on to a disused factory in South King Street and finally settling in the former Dollard Printing Works in East Essex Street in 1974. Project eventually purchased this site and remained there until 1996.

In 1991 the board of Project instigated a programme of redevelopment to improve the venue and facilities. This culminated in an integrated development with Temple Bar Properties. In 1998 Project and Temple Bar Properties (TBP) signed a lease agreement with the consent of The Arts Council. This enabled TBP to access funding from the European Regional Development Fund and the Department of the Environment to construct a custom-designed building for Project by The Arts Council and Dublin Corporation.

During its redevelopment, from 1997 - 1999, Project relocated its performance space to project @ the mint. This temporary venue was located above a snooker club and fortune teller in Henry Place, Dublin 1. The visual arts programme at Project continued off site with a number of artists working in found spaces round the city and in Galway.

The new building was designed by Shay Cleary Architects and was opened 12th June 2000.

By any reckoning Project has had an eventful history and evolution, which has mirrored the political and cultural trends of its time. It has developed from its earlier formative years as a voluntary, artist-led co-operative, to the current structure of a full-time professional administration operating an artist-driven company. Project now stands as a modern contemporary arts centre, with a national and international reputation.

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Former use : new building built in 2000
Architect of the reconversion : Shay Cleary Architects
Total surface of the site : n/a
Location : city centre
Foundation year of the centre : 1966
Type of occupation: 35 year lease
Owner of the building: Temple Bar Properties Ltd.

Infrastructures / Facilities

- Space Upstairs: 0-250 seats, dimensions 18.65m X 14.6m X 6.325m
- Cube: 0-90 seats, dimensions 11.8m x 8.8m x 4.5m
- Gallery: 14m x 10m x 6m, no natural light
- Box-office, theatre bar, administrative offices.

Social and artistic disciplines

All contemporary art forms including theatre, dance, visual arts, music (jazz, electronic, new music).

Financial support 2003

- The Arts Council €610,000
- Dublin City Council €25,000
- Other income from rental of the spaces to production companies or from shared income for events.
- Retained profits from bar sales.

Modified on Friday 6 June 2003