The Lyric Theatre, Belfast has won the award for hte Best Public Building category at tge 2011 Brick Awards and also the prestigious Supreme Winner award. The new Lyric Theatre opened in may 2011 and included the demolition of the existing theatre and the construction of a new building providing an auditorium, rehearsal room , and studio together with technical facilities, a reception, bar/foyer, offices and an education room.
Architects O'Donnell + Tuomey won an international arhcitectural competition held by the Lyric to design the new theatre facility, impressing judging panel chaired by Bob Allies of Allies and Morrision who described the development as 'an example of outstanding architectural commitment with beautiful interiors that cleverly links with the street scene.
Built on an epic scale, the Lyric is sited between the surrounding Belfast brick streetscape and the serpentine parkland of the River Lagan. The new building holds one corner of the continious system of brick streets and has been built brilliantly to match the surrounding local 'Belfast brick'. Built by brickwork contractor, Gilbert Ash NI using Heritage Red Blend bricks form Ibstock, the natural day lighting of the building is both sustainable and enhances the brickwork. The cleverly designed theatre is a constant surprise with new spaces at every level, a truly community building.