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Competition: Nun’s Island, Galway

Galway Cathedral
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National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) is recruiting a masterplanner for a major mixed-use overhaul of Nun’s Island

The winner of the £100,000 contract will create an ‘ambitious and cohesive’ masterplan for the large city-fringe island which formerly hosted a jail and is now home to the 1965 Galway Cathedral (pictured) and Galway Arts Centre.

The project, backed by Galway City Council, aims to transform underused plots across Nun’s Island into a ‘vibrant, distinctive, high-quality urban area’ featuring a mix of commercial, residential, cultural and educational uses. New public realm, transport facilities and connections to the surrounding medieval city will also be delivered.

According to the brief: ‘It is proposed to develop a cohesive and achievable regeneration proposal for the area to create vibrant space through the appropriate mix of public realm spaces and habitable development.

‘Working in partnership with Galway City Council and interested stakeholders from within the community, it is proposed to establish a development proposal that will bring wide-scale benefit to the city as a whole. Realising this ambition will require a collaborative approach based on detailed engagement and long-term thinking.’

Galway is a major educational and cultural centre for the west of Ireland, renowned for its literary and musical culture. The city – on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay – will be the European Capital of Culture in 2020.

NUI Galway was founded in 1845 as Queen’s College, Galway, on a prominent site close to Nun’s Island. The university’s main building is a replica of Christ Church College Oxford, and its department of engineering is located a short distance from the cathedral.

The latest project will regenerate the island, which is largely owned by the university. Planned upgrades include new public realm and pedestrian connections to the surrounding city along with a transport hub.

Existing buildings on the site such as the Persse’s Distillery may be converted into a landmark feature for the area. Other options include public realm improvements to the cathedral car park, connections to the city’s greenway and a new visitor destination space.

The deadline for applications is midday, 22 September.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Deirdre Carroll
National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway)
University Road

Tel: +353 91495477
Email: deirdre.carroll@nuigalway.ie


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