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Waterfront Hall

Waterfront Hall
Location Belfast, Northern Ireland
Capacity Studio: 330
Auditorium: 2,250
Broke ground 1995
Opened 1997

The Waterfront Hall is a multi-purpose facility, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, designed by local architects' firm Robinson McIlwaine. Practice partner Peter McGuckin was the project architect.

The hall is located in Lanyon Place, the flagship development of the Laganside Corporation. The development is named after the architect Charles Lanyon. Planning for the building began 1989, with the hall being completed in 1997 for the sum of £32 million. The main circular Auditorium seats 2,241 and is based on the Berlin Philharmonic Hall designed by Hans Scharoun. However the flexible design of the Auditorium allows the stalls seating to be moved to create a larger arena. The smaller adjoining Studio seats 380. The dome of the building is coated in copper. This is so the exterior will eventually turn green and reflect the dome of Belfast City Hall and other Victorian buildings in the city centre. The building also contains bars and a restaurant.

In 2002, the hall was voted the second best conference centre in the world in the Apex Awards. A 2006 socio-economic impact study commissioned by Belfast City Council found that the hall had generated £10 for the city for every £1 spent on operational costs.

Notable events

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle at the Waterfront, 2013

Many plays take place every year, in the 350 seated capacity studio, including operas, pantomimes and musicals, including Scary Musical Jan 2010.

The hall is a key venue for the Belfast Festival at Queen's and for concerts given by the Ulster Orchestra.

During their 2002 tour, in promotion of their album Right Now, famous pop trio Atomic Kitten recorded their Right Here, Right Now DVD at the auditorium.

Planxty performed there on 19, 20 and 21 January 2005 as part of their series of reunion concerts.[1]:322-326

In 2011 the Waterfront hosted the Sinn Féin Ardfheis, the first time for it to be held in Belfast.

On March 15, 2013 American country music singer Carrie Underwood played a concert as part of her Blown Away Tour.

On January 18, 2014 Britain's Got Talent auditions were in here. The auditions were for the Series 8 of the show. The auditions were shown on April 14, 2014.

The annual Christmas show, 'The Music Box', starring Peter Corry was hosted by the Waterfront Hall in December 2013. The show will return to the venue in December 2014.


  1. ^ O'Toole, Leagues (2006). The Humours of Planxty. Ireland: Hodder Headline.  

External links

  • Official website
  • Belfast City Council -About Waterfront Hall
  • Robinson McIlwaine architects

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