The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has launched a design contest for a €1.9 million revamp of Bishop Lucey Park in Cork
The anonymous competition – organised on behalf of Cork City Council – seeks proposals to transform the 150m by 50m park into a ‘connected green urban block’ designed to the ‘highest contemporary standards, incorporating landscaping, art and architecture as dynamic elements.’
The project aims to boost connections between the historic and growing city and the small open space which was created by transforming a derelict block in the 1980s and is named after the former Diocese of Cork Bishop, Cornelius Lucey.
The competition is open to architect-led design teams featuring landscape architects, archaeologists and heritage consultants.
According to the brief: ‘Cork City Centre is essentially characterised by a dense network of urban blocks, streets, spaces, laneways and quays that vary greatly in both form and function. Within this urban structure there is a very limited number of functioning parks and “soft spaces”.
‘Increasing the functionality of existing public spaces has continuously been recognised as a very important element in enhancing the vibrancy, engagement and activity levels within the city centre island. Bishop Lucey Park is an integral “soft space” in Cork City and this competition seeks to improve its functionality and usability.’
Cork is in south-west Ireland and expects its population to increase from 210,000 to 300,000 by 2040. London-based HH+ and Francis Keane Architect won an ideas competition to rethink the future of Cork’s historic waterfront in 2017.
Earlier this month, University College Cork launched a search for an architect to design a home for its business school in heart of the city. The winning team will design and deliver a 17,000m² business school on a waterfront site, formerly a builders’ yard.
The latest competition focuses on the site of a small but popular open space known as Bishop Lucey Park. The pocket park was created in the 1980s on the site of a former urban block which connects the city’s medieval core to areas which emerged during its later 18th-century expansion.
It includes a landmark pair of arches, a fragment of the former city wall and the Swan Fountain (pictured) by Irish artist John Behan. The project is intended to transform the park into a place of ‘active and passive’ recreation which responds to its unique urban context. Proposals will be expected to maximise connections and linkages throughout the area while also featuring an innovative lighting plan.
Entries should include three A1 presentation boards outlining a concept and a four A4-page report outlining key issues and possible costs. The jury will feature city architect Tony Duggan, Cork’s lord mayor John Sheehan, the landscape architect Gerry Mitchell, and David Prichard from Metropolitan Workshop in London.
The overall winner will receive a €15,000 and may be invited into a contract with the council – on the basis of a 13 per cent fee – to design and deliver the scheme. A €10,000 second prize and €5,000 third prize will also be awarded.
The deadline for applications has been extended to 17 April.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
Cork City Council
Tel: +353 16761703