Architecture June 2020
Bishop Lucey Park, Cork – Design Competition
3rd place in international competition
Warp & Weft, a dynamic threshold for Cork
The scheme takes its inspiration and character from unearthing the archaeological remnants of the old city of Cork. The burgage plotlines inform both pattern of path and place. A stone veneer is laid uniformly, as a warp and weft pattern, across the gentle slope rising from Grand Parade and South Main Street.
This design facilitates a permeable connection between these two thoroughfares, by removing fences, walls and barriers. Introducing a uniform design character gives structure and legibility to the space, consisting of 3.6 m high portals. This architectonic device provides a regula for the space.
To address the barrier-like fortified wall, a metal and glass grill covers an artificially illuminated cavity. Elsewhere archaeological structures emerge to contain raised wildflower beds. Linear timber seating encircles this archipelago of planters.
The space adjoining Grand Parade has been cleared to facilitate temporary events such as music performances and a new café is proposed to face south onto a courtyard shared with the public house on the corner of Tuckey Street.
The construction consists of veneers (stone paving and timber seating) and discrete retaining or point load structures, (concrete walls, steel and timber frames). Artificial lighting is integrated into the portals across the whole of the park which can be modified to suit different thematic and temporal conditions.
As neither square nor park, the design is a blended mix of art and architecture, landscape and urbanism. It is purposefully a neutral yet dynamic framework that bridges the distance between the old and the new city of Cork.