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Orders and disorders

Emily Jones
3/4/2023

Working Hard / Hardly Working

Changes to the built environment can sometimes appear inexplicable yet inevitable. But the idea that cities transform through a kind of natural chaos is misleading. It ignores the forces behind the chaos, allowing certain stakeholders and ideologies to take over, implementing their version of urban development. Understanding the processes of change is key to building a city which we can recognise as our own.

Orders and disorders. Photography by Emily Jones, 2020

The gigantic scale of present-day developments results in neighbourhoods which tend towards homogeneity. The hyper-fast pace demanded by the market leaves little time for community involvement in design, and rigid masterplanning leaves no space for the unexpected alterations and appropriations which characterise dynamic urban spaces.

A city is a hard thing to capture. Dublin’s city blocks are defined by layers of orders ingrained upon the city over hundreds of years through cyclical processes of construction and destruction, forming a superimposition of past and present technologies, aesthetics, communities, and uses. The innate complexity of this matrix of social/material/economic/cultural/communal lives means the city’s nature, as a thing, always escapes our grasp, morphing into something else as soon as we feel we understand it. This process of change can feel as gradual and natural as a garden changing over seasons. But the idea that cities develop through a kind of natural chaos is misleading. It ignores the forces behind the chaos, allowing certain stakeholders and ideologies (manifested through building) to take over, implementing their version of the city.


This is why it’s important to consider not only what we build, but the processes by which it gets built; the way we structure the city and the ideals behind this structure. This article reflects on urban growth in Dublin through two blocks shaped by different development processes, considering the impacts of different paces and scales of development on the neighbourhoods these blocks form.


1. Charlemont Street: block-scale redevelopment

Building inevitably leads to an imposition of order; it restructures, attempts to harmonise, adds new frameworks and rhythms. Bounded by Charlemont Street, Harcourt Road, and Richmond Street is a block that characterises Dublin’s development over the last twenty years. This block has been almost completely demolished and rebuilt within the space of a few years, replacing mixed-scale building types with a highly rational, monolithic masterplan. This type of development stems from the surge in investment post-2008 Financial Crisis, which saw large investors shift from acquiring high-end buildings to buying whole areas of city to rebuild by their own design, by extension turning neighbourhoods into commodities. 

[left] Charlemont Square from Richmond Street (2020).
[right] Charelmont Sqyare from Harcourt Road (2020). Photography by Emily Jones


This block was first built on in the late eighteenth century, and by the mid-nineteenth century was covered with a Georgian grain, cut through with irregular laneways. This grain was gradually filled in with smaller tenement houses, with the main streets characterised by small offices and retail units. The mid-twentieth century saw the block thinned out and overlaid with a modernist housing development built by Dublin Corporation, beginning with Michael Scott’s Ffrench-Mullan House flats in 1944, and an additional four blocks in 1969, the Tom Kelly Flats. 


The majority of those two centuries of development has been erased within the last ten years, beginning in 2014 with the demolition of the flats after their land was sold as part of a Public-Private Partnership scheme for their regeneration, between DCC and McGarrell Reilly Group, resulting in the construction of Charlemont Square. The land was sold by the government in order to modernise the flats, but only about 30% of the new complex’s 260 apartments are social housing, reduced from the initial agreement to provide over 50% social housing units. Thirty-seven of the flats’ original tenants remain [1]. The majority of the rest of the scheme is made up of private accommodation (with rents beginning at over €3000/month) and large offices with tenants including Amazon, in addition to retail spaces and community sports facilities.

This development also saw the closure of the Bernard Shaw, a pub which acted as a cultural hub. Further sale of publicly-owned land occurred in 2019 when the block’s northwest corner was sold to Charledev DAC, after an initial vote which rejected the proposal to sell. Thirteen small retailers which lined the northern end of the block closed in 2019 after planning permission for the north end of the block was granted to Slievecourt DAC (who are linked to the same investment company as Charledev, Clancourt). All of these buildings were demolished in early 2023, after sitting empty for four years. As all of this development happened at once, the whole block has been essentially inaccessible and unoccupied since 2014, meaning any patterns of use which existed within it have been wiped out.

Charlemont Block Maps: 1847, 2013, and the present day. Drawing by Emily Jones


In this way, a neighbourhood which emerged over time by the hand of historic developers, city planners and local people, is replaced with a masterplan guided by development companies. Richard Sennet describes this process as "global capital imposing order” on the city [2]. This order has a logic of its own, one that isn’t founded in the reality of the city, but in a rationale of quantification and maximisation of value. Dublin’s architecture has been determined by capital since the speculative developments of Georgian builders, before even Haussman’s redevelopment of Paris, which marked the point when urban development became deeply tied to the economic market, with land values becoming linked to the safety, cleanliness, and beauty of the neighbourhood. 


Despite this long history of private development structuring urban space, there is a difference between ordering for beauty and harmony, and formulaic order for mass production. The gigantic scale of present-day developments results in neighbourhoods which tend towards homogeneity. The hyper-fast pace demanded by the market leaves little time for community involvement in design, and rigid masterplanning leaves no space for the unexpected alterations and appropriations which characterise dynamic urban spaces. Predictable and balanced forms are favoured in these mega-developments as when a city block becomes capital, it must be easily quantifiable and controlled. Charlemont Square is made up of five large buildings, which form eerily flat, pristine vistas within the block and along the main streets, the lack of any irregularities or defining features creating space which feels more liminal than public. The sole survivors are two protected structures, solitary and exposed in the rubble, now a strange and clumsy counterpoint to their glassy neighbours. These aesthetic changes are symptoms of a much deeper shift, as the block passes from many owners to few, and patterns of diverse forms and scales give way to large uniform structures. In this way, the block becomes more rigid and inflexible to change, as both the architecture and the use are highly ordered and predetermined.

[left] Charlemont Square (2023).
[right] Harcourt Road (2023). Photography by Emily Jones


This is not to critique the design of the neighbourhood, which is one of many similar developments in Dublin’s city centre (see Townsend Street, Little Green Street, Blackpitts, Newmarket Street etc.), but to reflect on how the systems within which it is developed result in a place which does not embody the communities that use it or the city that it forms part of. Charlemont Square does offer a newly porous public terrain, with passageways and connections across the block. However, it remains to be seen if these spaces can support the dynamic and diverse uses an intense and well-used public realm demands. The voids left in capital-driven development often don’t speak of potential, but of wasted space, as this is a void that you cannot occupy. It is a public realm which the public cannot really interact with. An intensely used urban space stems from the combination of many different types of activities and people, resulting in an increased breadth of possibilities for use. Saskia Sassen describes the effect of mega-developments on neighbourhoods as ‘de-urbanisation’, as this range of potentials is squashed by the vast footprint, eroding much of what makes a city ‘urban’, even though density increases exponentially. This underscores the fact that “density is not enough to have a city”; it’s not just about building things, but about how we build them. No matter how good the design or expensive the technologies used, you cannot replicate the ‘urban’ condition if there is only one hand creating it.


2. Parnell Street: incremental growth

On the east leg of Parnell Street an order fixed years ago can still be read; a grain and a facade in place since the nineteenth century. The long, narrow rectangular plots, lined on the street edge by a steady ordered terrace, provide a strict rhythm which facilitates disordered growth within. An order here is a set of spatial rules for an area of city, which allow the disorder of individuals to co-exist, and elements to develop at different rates within the assemblage. The void space at the back has been filled in over time, resulting in granular forms, an accumulated mass of accreted pieces which rest and lean on each other. The technology behind these forms is basic, the materials cheap, accessible, and easily adaptable, lending the structures a transient quality. They are built to be changed or removed, evolving at the pace and scale of the individual.

[left] Parnell St, Dublin Mouldings.
[right] Parnell St, Kimchi. Drawings by Emily Jones


Within this framework, the layers of influence from many individuals, over many years of living and working, can be seen. Order is subverted by the agency of the inhabitants. Through this series of adaptions, a kind of backdoor vernacular emerges, an un-masterplanned territory of strange forms and unreconciled materials, junk, and paint and surveillance cameras and flowers and washing lines, within the confines of a burgage plot. There is space for undetermined form here; cumulative and permanently incomplete, a constantly beginning conversation between past and present. 


As the structures are built over time, communities and patterns of use can adjust as the physical environment changes. This kind of slow, cumulative process offers not quite an alternative to prevalent development processes, but an ethos, which opens the door to imagine a different way of developing. I don’t hold this up as a perfect piece of city, but to examine this soft, stitched version of a city, the likes of which can be observed all over Dublin. It represents a highly adaptive and flexible evolution of urban fabric, embodying both the character and past of the place, while still facilitating it to change. It offers a language which can negotiate between elements from different eras and technologies, giving an idea of how existing structures could be retained and reconciled with new ones, stitching together disparate scales and aesthetics. There is vast potential for re-use of existing structures through the addition of new layers and attachments which can create new connections and activate existing buildings in unexpected ways. 


There is a poignant instability to this block which somehow captures Dublin’s new currency of overhaul; its forms seem to accept that things fall apart, and can be stitched together again. 

Parnell Street. Drawing by Emily Jones


Not just architecture, but also the processes through which architecture is conceived and constructed, are a spatialisation of the political and social powers which guide the city’s formation. While redevelopment and masterplanning are not inherently negative, the way they are carried out may be; as they are always in support of and collaboration with certain forces and powers, whose values may not be aligned with the greater social and spatial good of the city. The aesthetic homogenisation visible in many contemporary large-scale developments in Dublin is a sign that the strongest agent in building the city is now the market. The city could be a place of play, a place with space for disorder which accepts the potential and necessity of the unknown and the unexpected. The city must be able to develop at large scales, but the way we develop should reflect a re-aligning of values, which seek not purely economic profit but also social profit and ecological sensitivity, through renewal, layering, and diversity of form, to build a city which we can recognise as our own. 

Not just architecture, but also the processes through which architecture is conceived and constructed, are a spatialisation of the political and social powers which guide the city’s formation.

Working Hard / Hardly Working is an article series designed to promote the use and organisation of public space. By presenting two examples – one which works well, and one which needs to work harder – it highlights the importance of clever design, and how considered decisions can make our shared spaces better. For all enquiries and potential contributors, please contact doireann@type.ie.

Working Hard / Hardly Working is supported by the Arts Council through the Architecture Project Award Round 2 2022.

References

1. O. Kelly, 2017, The Irish Times, 25 September 2017 . Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/after-a-20-year-wait-tom-kelly-residents-to-move-into-new-homes-1.3233505.

2. P. Sendra and R. Sennet, Designing Disorder: Experiments and Disruptions in the City, London, Verso, 2022.

Contributors

Emily Jones

Emily Jones is a graduate architect based in Dublin. She studied in University College Dublin and ÉNSA Paris Belleville. Emily's thesis research considered how informal and DIY architecture processes can be applied to city development. She has worked for practices in Dublin and Paris, including Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects. She is currently working in exhibition design, collaborating with Architecture at the Edge and the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale curatorial team.

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Metropolitan duality: Cork and Naples explored through the Venturi lens

Niamh Hurley
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Aragonese walls and housing block through reflective framed device, Naples

While Cork city is often likened to Venice for its comparable canal system beneath its main streets, its architectural and urban characteristics draw parallels to another Italian city: Naples. Like Cork, Naples is a port city with a rich architectural history stemming from the mediaeval and industrial periods, however, their architectural characters and urbanist developments diverge significantly. 

The city of Naples embodies Venturi’s ideas, through its honky-tonk architecture, with various contrasting epochs stitched together into one elevational run. Structure, facade, stairs, fenestration: all elements become urban characters of a centuries-old play known to the locals as La Città (The City). This eclectic approach to urbanism results from the continual layering up of architecture upon architecture, fragments upon fragment, all with a keen desire to preserve, protect, and most importantly, maintain each architectural style. 

Cork city has an opportunity to draw inspiration from the Neapolitan character by investigating its development through the lens of Venturi's theories presented in his text, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. By juxtaposing similar examples from both cities, a connection between Neapolitan theatrics and Cork city’s architectural and urban framework can be discerned.

St. Augustine’s Church, Cork

City gates

Monumental gateways of former entry points are present in both cities. Portas are embedded into the Neapolitan urban environment, creating porous penetrations into the city’s historic centre. Traversing beneath these oversized portals is a colloquial experience. While most of these city gates have been demolished or disappeared over the centuries, fragments of their existence are scattered throughout the city. Four of the most intact examples are Port'Alba, Porta San Gennaro, Porta Nolana, and Porta Capuana. Nolana and Capuana are former entry points of the Aragonese fortification walls, flanked by two towers on either side. Both are embedded into the surrounding urban fabric, with housing blocks capturing portions of the former fortifications. This variegated facade, which conjoins the massive scale of the Aragonese arch and the human-sized domestic architecture into one elevation, embodies what Venturi refers to as ‘superadjacency’.

Bishop Lucey Park gateway, Cork

Looking at Cork city, similar giants appear, however, they take on an alien appearance compared to their surroundings. This is the case for the gateway that serves as the entrance to Bishop Lucey Park, known to Corkonians as the People’s Park. The double-arched entrance is reconstructed from the 1850’s Cork Cornmarket, a former marketplace, not located on the park’s derelict site, but instead at Coal Quay less than 500m away. Flanked by low stone walls and metal railings, recent development plans for the park include the removal of these adjacent structures while allowing the gateway to remain. The threshold becomes monumental rather than transitional. This form of symbolic architecture, represented as fragments of the whole, can be understood as “economical because it implies richness and meaning beyond itself” without the need for the whole [1]. However, care for its continuing existence in the chosen context is key. The gateway to the park rescripts its history into a fraudulent one, a contradiction, but not necessarily the form which Venturi discusses. Approaching by means of inversion, removing the deceptive, and creating a void to signify this entry adheres to the Venturi's idea of fragmentation while remaining faithful to Cork's history.

Urban ecclesiastics

Venturi's theories are not lost on Cork city. It is in the ecclesiastical spaces where these theories are effectively realised. This effectiveness may stem from the proximity of neighbouring buildings, resulting in a densely complex and interconnected urban fabric reminiscent of Neapolitan city development. One example is St Augustine’s Church on Washington Street. The second of its kind on the site, this church designed by architect Dominic O’Connor and completed in 1943, embeds itself into the streetscape, matching street lines and eave heights [2]. Contradictions appear in its material usage and elongated stained glass windows. The scale of the chiselled stone facade compared to the adjacent brickwork follows a height ratio of 3:1 and 5:1 and a width ratio of 2:1. Glazed openings extend to the fourth-storey height with no external breaks. The entry point on Washington Street is marked by a Hiberno-Romanesque style archway, double the height of its central door and those surrounding it. 

Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo, Naples.

Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo in Naples follows a similar over-scaling of architectural features with a more theatrical approach. Typical fenestration proportions are kept, while the scale is magnified to an almost caricature-like quality. Duality is present in its glazed elements; becoming what Venturi describes as “as both structural and ornamental, frequently redundant, and sometimes vestigial” [3]. 

By allowing these structures to play both against and with their architectural context, each element becomes a character in the city’s shared theatrical stage. This extreme multiplicity “reads like a unity through a tendency of the parts to change scale, and to be perceived as an overall pattern or texture”, creating an architecturally theatrical city that seeks to celebrate and conserve its elaborate and paradoxical history [4].

8/4/2024
Working Hard / Hardly Working

Robert Venturi's postmodernist theories, outlined in his 1966 book "Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture", have significantly influenced urban development. This article examines how two cities, Cork and Naples, have responded differently to these concepts through an analysis of similar heritage spaces, illustrating how one place’s adoption of these ideas may influence the development trajectory of the other.

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The autumnal earth: the Irish National War Memorial Gardens

Tom Cookson
Working Hard / Hardly Working
Tom Cookson
James Haynes

"We have found safety with all things undying,

The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth,

The deep night, and birds singing, and clouds flying,

And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth".

Extract from ‘Safety’ by Rupert Brooke, 1914.

Located on the southern edge of Phoenix Park in Dublin is the Irish National War Memorial Gardens (1930-39). On arrival one is drawn to a modest structure framed by trees. Inscribed here is a fragment of a poem by Rupert Brooke, the great English war poet. He wrote these words at the tender age of twenty-seven, and was shortly to depart for war, where he perished soon after.

Sentinels guarding a multi-layered threshold, a play of mass and volume at the Irish Memorial Gardens.

The Irish Memorial Gardens were designed by the English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) at the height of his creative powers, in the twilight of his career. His masterpieces in New Delhi and Thiepval were complete, and he was designing Liverpool Cathedral, feted to rival that of St Peter’s in Rome. Under the auspices of the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC) – and its visionary director Fabian Ware – Lutyens had been directly involved in the design of 137 cemeteries and memorials following World War I, and was the spiritual and architectural lodestone for hundreds more. Yet his career began with domestic work in the Arts & Crafts style, commissions and acclaim garnered through the unique patronage of Country Life magazine. As his reputation grew, he was increasingly tasked with civic projects. His mature style, commensurately, is in the Classical tradition; yet bridging the domestic and civic is in many ways the story of his life, and that of the Irish Memorial Gardens.

While civic perhaps falls short of the breadth of Lutyens reach, he was also seeking the universal. He had a belief that perfect shapes and relationships have an eternal relevance, and are reflections of divinity [1]. This is evidenced in the layout he devised at the Irish Memorial Gardens. By composing a series of circular spaces, connected by linear routes, he established a network of cosmic geometries. These are situated within the constructed landscape of Phoenix Park – albeit separated by the River Liffey – with a planned connecting bridge never realised. These cosmic territories hold a family of monuments. In many ways the Irish Memorial Gardens is an exercise in ontology, on the nature of things and their relationships, over many scales.

Following Lutyens proposals, the centrepiece to all IWGC cemeteries and memorials is the War Stone. A neutral but enduring symbol, not overtly related to any particular religion, in line with Lutyens’ humanist values. This final proposal is reflective of his first striking instinct for a memorial, communicated in a letter to his wife, after visiting the Western Front: "a solid ball of bronze!" [2]. Yet as with all commissions of this scale and significance, more conservative voices held sway. These were led by Herbert Baker, another prominent architect, who called for the traditional iconography of the cross. The compromise reached is evident at the Irish Memorial Gardens, with the War Stone twinned to the south with a monumental stone cross.

Lutyens had been working for many years with the classical language of architecture, manipulating its grammar in the Renaissance mannerist tradition. His fascination with the work of Palladio and Wren is clear in the elements that frame the War Stone. A wall encloses this to the south, east and west, with axial entrances to the flanking circular gardens marked by pavilions which borrow the ancient Roman model of the tetrapylon. Openings in the four corners of this central space provide access to radial routes into the wider landscape, framed by gateposts, sentinels guarding their thresholds. These are figurative in character, over-scaled, in the manner Michelangelo Buonarotti depicted the human body. Constructed from sharply dressed and jointed white stone, they contrast wilfully in tone and texture with the more informally coursed walls which they interrupt. They are playful, personal, balancing mass and volume as a painter or sculptor would, roundly rejecting the assumption that the classical tradition is an imitative pattern book. To the north, a view of Phoenix Park connects this outdoor room to its broader context – a recurring motif in Lutyen’s work for the IWGC. Despite its scale, this space truly does feel like a civic room, embedded in its landscape and roofed by the heavens, delivering on Lutyens intent: "The big stone to the East, the flanking pyramid oaks and the sky forming the vault to them all" [3].

The notion of an outdoor room, or ‘garden-room’, is a strand which connects all of Lutyen’s domestic projects, under the influence of his lifelong collaborator Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932). Jekyll’s career began as a painter, before shifting to garden design, inspired by William Robinson’s revolutionary book The Wild Garden [4]. The domestic qualities of the spaces that Lutyen’s and Jekyll spent decades refining together are evident in the Irish Memorial Gardens, individual moments afforded amongst the universal set-piece, a contradiction delicately negotiated, elevating each experience. It is this layering from the scale of the cosmos, receding to landscape, city, building, room, aedicule that uniquely allows us to situate the presence of our individual bodies in the context of a broader continuum. To feel the presence of the earth below, and the firmament above. Another duality that is masterfully explored by sculpting the ground. The majority of landscapes are illusionary, surreptitiously urbanised, with few as skilfully executed as this one. Our experience is also illuminated through the topographic adjustments that have been imposed on this place. The more intimate circular gardens – to the east and west of the central outdoor room – uniquely feel both below the ground and elevated above it, simultaneously buried and projecting skyward.

Irish Memorial Gardens as artefact, fragmenting a constructed landscape.

Rudyard Kipling described Lutyen’s memorials and cemeteries as "silent cities". The 49,400 Irish soldiers that lost their lives during World War I inhabit these gardens, their presence is felt, the empty rooms hold an emotional density. The Irish Memorial Gardens recalls paths not walked, public spaces not shared, domestic rooms not inhabited. The tragedy of this place is that it was made to memorialise WW1, just as WW2 was about to commence. Yet it also carries hope. In the grand tradition of public space, it reminds us that the individual only makes sense as part of the collective. It also fractures our participation in the everyday – for a moment at least – connecting human life with the landscape which we inhabit, a valuable lesson in the context of a climate emergency.

11/3/2024
Working Hard / Hardly Working

The Irish National War Memorial Gardens affords individual moments amongst a universal set-piece. Referencing the scale of the cosmos, and receding to landscape, city, building, room, it uniquely allows us to situate the presence of our individual bodies in the context of a broader continuum. A vital experience in a time of climate emergency.

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Engaging with water: Arthur's Quay, Limerick

Denise Murray
Working Hard / Hardly Working
Denise Murray
James Haynes

What is it that makes a good public space? We know one when we see it but often find it hard to define why one place works and another one doesn’t. Arthur's Quay Park in Limerick is a sort of accidental public space; it was never planned and yet it exists, anchoring the north east corner of the Georgian grid of Limerick city, balanced by the People’s Park to the south west. The park was an incomplete Georgian Square, planned to be surrounded by houses but never finished due to the Great Famine (1845-52).

Arthur's Quay Park

Hardly working

Arthur's Quay Park sits on a piece of reclaimed land, originally a harbour, and was filled in by Limerick Corporation in the 1970s to create a car park, before subsequently, in the late 1980s, being transformed from a car park to a civic space; completed with a tourist office as a focal point (the tourist office won the RIAI Gold medal in 1989-91). The park is greatly valued by the people of Limerick, however, there is also a deep sense of frustration as the space never seems to quite live up to its potential. Various interventions have taken place over the years, such as the removal of planted railings to address safety concerns and improve visibility, but it still feels as though it is an underperforming public space. And in recent years, with the boarding up of the tourist office, it lacks a sense of purpose. The park has one great asset in its favour though – the spectacular views up the river towards King John’s Castle and the mountains beyond. Notwithstanding this, it still feels disconnected from the city core and remains remote from most people’s mental map of Limerick city.

Working hard

Hamburg is also a city defined by its relationship with water. The advent of container shipping has meant that the main commercial port has moved further down river, leaving the historic port area available for transformation into a new city known as HafenCity. This area has been transformed over the last thirty years and one of the first decisions taken was to raise the new ground level of buildings to protect them from flooding. The landscape is arranged on three planes, ensuring that there is always a level that provides safe access during times of flooding, while for the rest of the time the landscape tiers down to the original harbour line, ensuring that the citizens of Hamburg are able to stay connected to the river that is at the heart of their city.

HafenCity, Magellan Terrace

The quayside spaces in HafenCity are part of a continuous promenade with a variety of inviting public spaces, abundant greenery, and strong connections to the water. Some spaces change with the tides, while others are at a higher level providing a prospect over the river. There are also new water features integrated into the landscape providing a very immediate opportunity to engage directly with water.  

It is not just the innovative landscape design that makes HafenCity such a success, it is the buildings that surround it, providing places for people to live, work, and play in the city. There is a very intimate relationship between the new buildings in HafenCity and the quayside. The space is overlooked by six- to eight-storey apartment and office buildings, the ground floors of which are generally active, containing retail and commercial uses. The traffic has been carefully planned to minimise the impact of the car, allowing connections between buildings and animated public spaces.

Lessons to be learned

While the scale of HafenCity is vast in comparison to Arthur's Quay, there are some key lessons that can be learned. Namely, that it is possible to plan for flooding without cutting a city off from its river, and that a quayside is a space of transition that should be thought of as part of a riverfront promenade rather than an isolated space.

For Arthur's Quay to reach its potential as a space that supports the life of the city, it needs to be more connected and integrated into the wider urban landscape. This will mean transforming the surrounding car-dominated highway into a civilised pedestrian friendly street that can serve as a route for traffic that is accessing the city centre, instead of supporting through traffic that does nothing to contribute to the life and activity of the city. In addition, the surrounding buildings should be redeveloped or reimagined so that they engage with the park through vibrant ground floor uses – offering shops, restaurants, and cafes. Convivial spaces with terraces overlooking the river can serve a new population living, working, and playing on the floors above.

What are we waiting for, the quay is the key.

Arthur's Quay
5/2/2024
Working Hard / Hardly Working

What makes a vibrant, successful public space? In this article, architect Denise Murray considers what changes might be necessary for Arthurs’ Quay Park, Limerick, and the surrounding area to evolve into a place that better serves its citizens. HafenCity provides some examples of alternative ways to provide public spaces while addressing the issues of climate change and flooding.

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