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Design contest for £370k Dublin play space begins

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The Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) has launched an international design competition for a new £370,000 play space in Ballyfermot, Dublin

Planned to complete in 2016, the project – backed by the Matheson Foundationand Dublin City Council – will deliver an ‘innovative and ground-breaking’ new play space and skate park in Le Fanu Park.

According to the brief: ‘Our ambition for this project is two-fold; we want to create a visionary, highly modern civic space which will inspire and empower a disadvantaged community, while creating new tools, processes and opportunities for collaboration and co-design in public realm projects.’

The document continued: ‘We want the local community to understand the impact that good public realm design can have on their lives, to improve ‘design literacy’, and to close the gap between architects, researchers and citizens.’

Named after Irish newspaper published Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, the park features football pitches and a wildlife area and is around seven kilometres south of Dublin city centre.

The competition site in Le Fanu Park, Dublin

The competition site in Le Fanu Park, Dublin

The new facility is planned for a 1.2 hectare site next to Ballyfermot leisure centre at the junction of Blackditch Road and Le Fanu Road.

Designs must be physically robust, flexible, accessible and appropriate for people of all ages.

Shortlisted teams will receive £1,850 each and the overall winners – set to be announced in January – will take home a £18,500 top prize and the design commission. Two runner-up prizes worth £3,670 each will also be awarded.

Judges include IAF director Nathalie Weadick, Amica Dall of Turner Prize-shortlisted Assemble and Ballyfermot resident Aimee Harding.

Weadick commented: ‘We had been looking for a project that combined the IAF’s experience in delivering high-end architecture projects in the community with The Matheson Foundation’s philanthropic remit

‘When Dublin City Council came on board and suggested Ballyfermot as the location everything fell into place quite quickly.’

The deadline for applications has been extended to 30 October.





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