Nun’s Island has been synonymous with artists for decades, with Galway Arts Centre and Galway International Arts Festival showcasing the best of Irish and International Theatre in the intimate setting of the 82 seat theatre nestled in the former 18th Century Presbyterian Church (refurbished by Galway City Council in 2004). In 2015 Galway City Council bought The Manse House to the rear of the Theatre overlooking the Canal. It has been an informal hub for festival rehearsals and artists’ workspaces for many years. The area has been identified by UrbanLab in NUIG to be an Innovation & Creativity District of Galway, through its spatial planning analysis.
Public consultations and co-design workshops were facilitated by UrbanLab to ensure optimum access for artists in the spaces at 23 Nun’s Island. OBFA is delighted to be part of this process leading the Design Team to turn The Manse House into exemplar artists’ workspaces connected to the theatre. The site’s ownership by Galway City Council and management by Galway Arts Centre protects its cultural use for generations of artists to come.