The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland Southern Region has launched an open ideas contest to re-think the future of Cork’s historic waterfront
The competition – supported by the Cork Architectural Association, Ireland’s National Sculpture Factory and the campaign group Save Cork City – seeks ‘innovative and considered’ public realm proposals for the ancient city’s Morrison’s Island district.
The project set outs to provide an alternative vision for the post-industrial area which is currently earmarked for the first phase of an 8 kilometre flood defences programme which critics argue could ruin the city’s cultural identity and sense of place.
According to the brief: ‘The purpose of the competition is to unlock opportunity and potential, advance knowledge, and develop expertise and ideas across architecture, engineering and landscape design through integrated design solutions that are specific to Cork city.
‘It is hoped that the output of the process will contribute towards the city’s future strategy for the quays by revealing new ideas and uses and promoting economical repair and maintenance of cultural identity and sense of place while inserting new design.’
Located in south west Ireland, the university city of Cork occupies an island within the River Lee between Lough Mahon and Cork harbour. Morrison’s Island is situated in the southern channel close to the docks and quays of the working waterfront.
The competition focuses on Matthew and Morrison’s Quay where contestants are required to draw up plans for a new public space addressing the river.
Proposals for a replacement pedestrian bridge at Morrison’s Quay and ideas to boost riverine activity such a trade, tourism, sport and leisure are also required.
The call for ideas is a response to plans to create a major new £123 million flood defence within the city featuring 8km of concrete walls and 46 pump chambers. The Irish government-backed programme, known as the Lower Lee (Cork City) Flood Relief Scheme, has been criticised for threatening the city’s historic quayside landscape and civic spaces.
The campaign group Save Cork City has called for an alternative tidal barrier to be constructed outside the city and improvements to up-stream catchment management, allowing the central area to be restored and enhanced for civic purposes.
Submissions must include two A1 boards featuring plans, sections and conceptual images along with a written description of the proposal. Shortlisted entries will feature in a public exhibition and print publication. Invited contestants and key stakeholders will also be invited to a public symposium.
Judges include Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects; the artist and sculptor Eilís O’Connell; Tim Lucas, structural engineer at Price Myers Engineers; James Howley of Howley Hayes Architects; and Siobhán Ní Éanaigh of McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects.
The overall winner, to be announced late September, will receive an £8,800 prize.
The deadline for applications is 8 September.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information