RTÉ Radio Centre
|RTÉ Radio Centre|
The Radio Centre building on the RTÉ campus.
|Address||Donnybrook, Dublin 4|
|Current tenants||RTÉ Radio|
|Design and construction|
|Architecture firm||Scott Tallon Walker|
|Awards and prizes||Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland Gold Medal|
The Radio Centre is RTÉ's main production and control centre for their national radio networks. The building is located on the RTÉ campus at Donnybrook on the Southside of Dublin. Construction of the building commenced in June 1969 and was completed in April 1971.
Since 1928 Irish radio, (Radio Éireann), had been housed in the GPO on O'Connell Street, in the centre of Dublin, in cramped and unsuitable accommodation. With the coming of television in 1960, a site was developed for television studios off the Stillorgan road, South of Dublin city centre (see RTÉ Television Centre). From the beginning it was the intention that the radio service should join television on a broadcasting campus at Donnybrook. However it was not until the late 1960s that the detailed planning and construction began that would accommodate on-site a new centre for radio production. Once construction of the building had finished in April 1971 the phased move from the GPO began, but it was not until September 1973 that the first live broadcast was made from the Radio Centre. By May 1974 all broadcasting from the GPO had ceased, and RTÉ radio had become firmly ensconced in its new purpose-built home at Donnybrook.
The building is on two floors, above ground are the various programme offices, and below ground covering a greater area are the studios, thirteen in all. The studios have been built underground for greater soundproofing. The largest, Studio 1, is 340sq metres and at 10m high it reaches to the top of building. This studio was designed for live orchestral performances and other large productions, and incorporates an elevated audience seating area. The other twelve studios are grouped around studio 1 and a small courtyard which extends up through the building giving daylight to the below ground corridors and control rooms. The courtyard contains a bust of Seán Ó Riada a former Assistant Director of Radio Éireann. As well as the studios and their respective control rooms the subterranean floor of the building contains a Master Control Room, switching racks, computer servers, and tape archives.
From this building emanates most of RTÉ's radio output on two national channels RTÉ Radio 1, and RTÉ 2fm, as well as a number of digital radio channels available on DAB. RTÉ's two other national radio channels are broadcast from outside Dublin. Classical music station RTÉ Lyric FM is based in Limerick city, and Irish language station RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta is based in Casla, County Galway.
All news bulletins on radio still come from a studio in the Television Centre where the main newsroom is situated, this allows for convenient access to both the radio and television news studios.
In 2009 RTÉ announced its long-term plans for the redevelopment of the entire Donnybrook site, including the Television Centre and the Radio Centre. The project envisages the gradual replacement over a ten to fifteen year period of most of the current 1960s and 1970s buildings on the Donnybrook site with a purpose-built modern building complex designed for the digital and high-definition age.
- Gorham, Maurice (1967). Forty Years of Irish Broadcasting. Talbot Press. ISBN 0854520279.
- "RTÉ Campus Master Plan". Scott Tallon Walker. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "RTÉ Radio Begins Live Broadcasts from Montrose 1973". RTE.ie. RTÉ Archives. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "Open House Dublin - RTÉ Radio Centre". architecturefoundation.ie. The Irish Architecture Foundation. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "Project 2025". RTÉ.ie. Retrieved 2013-12-30.