Douglas Wallace Architects & Designers
- Award Type:
Regional Award 2006
- Location: Connacht
<strong>Best Commercial Building</strong>
From an architectural point of view, the design team have focused on creating a cinema complex that will contribute not only in a social context to the people of Galway but also in an aesthetic sense. Here, the traditional cinema experience is turned back to front in comparison to normal cinema design. A clear glass wall allows visibility to the pre-cinema experience on a scale which is unique in Ireland.
Unlike normal cinema spaces which are enclosed with no hint of their true form, the EYE cinemas are organic oval forms which are celebrated via copper pods, suspended on stilts and creating an overall effect that is both science-fictional and slightly playful. The building is positioned so that its drama is exposed and highly visible during both day and night. We have created a living canvas at one of the most prominent sites in the city.
The brief screamed out for the creation of an environment which would illustrate and enable an escapist fantasy. From the moment you enter the EYE your senses begin a journey within the cinema environment.
The nature and shape of the EYE creates a series of views and turning corners which have allowed us to present sudden changes in the look of the space. This notion keeps the customer alert to the overall experience within the EYE cinema.
Our brief to the design team for the EYE Cinema was to create a cinema that would build on Galway’s worldwide reputation for celebrating Irish and international theatre, music, literature and the visual arts by programming both mainstream ‘block buster’ movies and art house films – showing as many as 22 movies each week.
The EYE demonstrates that it is possible for independent cinema operators to create a cinema, which despite commercial considerations still uses innovative design. From the moment you enter the EYE you escape into your dreams. The Architects have created an exciting and innovative space which breaks the mould of cinema design.
Our brief was to create a space with a difference to recapture some of the whimsy opulence that characterised cinema building in its 1930s and 40s heyday whilst bringing it bang up to date.