New Spaces for Culture

Nos. 20 and 21 Parnell Square North. Image © Dublin City Council

Nos. 20 and 21 Parnell Square North. Image © Dublin City Council


Our vision for Parnell Square Cultural Quarter is:


A dynamically managed developmental space for diverse audiences that , through programming, participation, exhibitions and performances showcases the vibrant cultural life of Dublin to a local, national and international audience.





The City Library, beside the existing Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane, will be at the heart of this dynamic cultural quarter at Parnell Square. The Library will anchor a range of complementary creative experiences, from music to media, connected by a new civic plaza. Parnell Square Cultural Quarter will be a public place, with opportunities for everyone to participate in the many strands of culture that are fundamental to the city.





The City Library will be a meeting place for both people and ideas. It will be a place where people can learn, create and participate. It will house contemporary library collections and spaces for reading, listening, watching, playing, researching or thinking. There will be learning suites and digital creation zones, and an Innovation Hub with spaces for meeting and co-working. It will have spaces for young peoples’ learning and recreation. The StoryHouse will be a place for writers and readers, a creative commons for emerging and established writers, with residencies at civic, national and international levels of excellence and engagement. A 200-seat conference/ auditorium space with recording facilities will be suitable for live spoken word and music performance and recordings.

Read more about the City Library.





The Education Centre will be available for use by all the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter institutions. It will provide a high quality studio type space for ‘making’ activities of many kinds, such as painting and clay modelling. It will accommodate classes of up to 40 students. An additional flexible teaching space will be suitable for lectures for up to 80 people, for language classes and ‘dry’ making activities. To support use by schools, a lunch room will be provided within the Education Centre.





The Music Centre will be a space for music and spoken word performance, recording, rehearsal and creation. There will be a strong connection between the Music Centre and the City Library’s Music Collection, the auditorium and other shared facilities in the City Library such as the café. It will house a range of non-performance spaces, including rehearsal rooms to support individual performers and singers, as well as larger groups, and a recording studio.





The Design Space will encourage and enable the use of design as a resource for the economic development of the city and country. It will support designers in the development of innovative design enterprises or projects and assist businesses in using design for innovation, product and service development, and branding and communication.
The Design Space will also provide a platform for engaging with emerging trends and research in design thinking and practice, understanding design’s place in our national life and culture and in promoting Dublin and Ireland’s design industries to domestic and overseas markets.





One of the strongest emerging factors in Dublin’s involvement in the Council of Europe Intercultural Cities project is the consideration of Dublin as a hub for Interculturalism on an international level. The Cultural Quarter will include a focused Intercultural space that can act as a national and city wide space and resource for information, interconnection, assistance and inclusion. It will comprise reception and office space, dedicated meeting space, seminar / workshop space and public/café style space, shared with other facilities in Parnell Square Cultural Quarter.