The Helix, Dublin

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The Helix
The Helix , Dublin City University - - 517797.jpg
The Helix in August 2007
Full nameThe Helix Centre for the Performing Arts
Former namesNorth Dublin Arts Centre
AddressDCU Main Campus, Collins Avenue Extension
Dublin D9
D09 FW22
Coordinates53°23′11″N 6°15′34″W / 53.38639°N 6.25944°W / 53.38639; -6.25944Coordinates: 53°23′11″N 6°15′34″W / 53.38639°N 6.25944°W / 53.38639; -6.25944
OwnerDublin City University
OperatorUAC Management DAC, a DCU subsidiary company
  • 1,300 (Mahony Hall)
  • 433 (Helix Theatre)
  • 132 (The Space)
Broke groundAugust 2000 (2000-08)
Opened21 October 2002 (2002-10-21)
Construction cost€36.5 million
ArchitectWejchert Architects
Project managerHealy Kelly & Partners
General contractorBennett Construction

The Helix, formally The Helix Centre for the Performing Arts, is a multi-purpose venue located on the Dublin City University main campus in Glasnevin, Dublin. Officially opened by then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, on 5 March 1996, the Helix contains a concert hall, theatre, studio theatre, exhibition space, artists-in-residence studios, and a green room and other support spaces, along with an in-site café.


The Helix in June 2005

Originally conceived as an aula maxima for the university, and also as the "North Dublin (Performing) Arts Centre," the Helix was built at a cost of €56.5 million between 1996 and mid-1998.

Design and features[edit]

The Helix was designed by the late Polish-born Dublin-based architect Andrzei Wejchert of A&D Wejchert & Partners Architects.[1] It is a three-level building with elevations of contrasting glass and granite, and with an open void through which light spills from the roof. The 11,650 square metres of the building are built around a wide foyer with inclined columns and a helix-shaped stairway - the building was named for the helical structure that dominates the entrance.

The performance spaces include the main concert hall, "The O'Mahony Hall," main Helix theatre, "The Space" - a studio theatre, exhibition space, artists-in-residence studios, and a green room, while ancillary spaces include a café, box office, small shop, toilets and other amenities.

Performances and events[edit]

The Helix has been host to world-class performances ranging from the Russian State Philharmonic Orchestra, The St Petersburg Ballet, international theatre and world singers through to popular West End shows. Opera singers performing have included Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Lesley Garrett and Bryn Terfel. Rock musicians Van Morrison and Lou Reed have also played the venue. Irish groups such as Celtic Thunder have also performed there.


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic it is being used as a vaccination centre since February 2021.[2][3] The centre is scheduled to be operating 8am-8pm seven days a week.[2][3] The capacity of the car park was a factor in choosing the building.[2] The vaccination centre is the work of collaboration between general practitioners, practice nurses, medical students, Order of Malta Ambulance Corps, Order of Malta Ambulance Corps, Department of Health, Dublin City University and Dublin Airport.[3]

TV programmes[edit]

Many TV programmes have been broadcast from or recorded in The Helix.

Programme Channel Years
You're a Star RTÉ One 2002–2008
The Dunphy Show TV3 2003
The Panel Network 2 2003
Rip-Off Republic RTÉ One 2005
Fame: The Musical RTÉ One 2010
Take Me Out TV3 2010–2013
Family Fortunes TV3 2012–2014
The Voice of Ireland RTÉ One 2012–2016
Ireland's Got Talent Virgin Media One 2018–2019


  • Irish Concrete Society Award – Building Category
  • Irish Joinery Award – Joinery of the Mahony Hall – 1st Prize
  • Plan Opus Building Awards Winner (2003)
  • Shortlisted for the Best Purpose-built Venue (2014)


  1. ^ "The Helix Performing Arts Centre DCU". Wejchert Architects. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Power, Jack (11 February 2021). "The Dublin theatre-turned-vaccination centre: 'We're planning for 5,000 people a day'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Hogan, Laura (20 February 2021). "Hundreds of over-85s vaccinated at DCU centre today". RTÉ News. Retrieved 14 May 2021.

External links[edit]