Ireland’s first large scale urban wetlands and park surrounding a modern sports stadium, which it is hoped will act as a catalyst project for the redevelopment of Cork Docklands, has been awarded by Cork City Council to OKRA.
The winning concept design, led by the Dutch landscape architects OKRA in cooperation with the Irish landscape architects REDscape, took the City Council’s brief for the redevelopment of Marina Park to a new level and offers an exciting vision of dynamic landscapes and ecosystems tailored to a modern and developing city. The design concept includes a sequence of urban water gardens, watercourses and wetland areas that will recycle storm water from the adjacent docklands and create a sustainable environment for the new city park on the River Lee.
Contemporary urban spaces will be generated around Pairc Ui Chaoimh so it can, along with facilitating the GAA supporters on match days, also host Cork’s cultural events, festivities and gatherings thereby turning the project into a catalyst for the regeneration of the south docklands area. Integration of the GAA’s proposals for the stadium into the park will form an important element of the design work.
The transformation of the 35-hectare site will be implemented over a number of years on a phased basis as funding allows and will also ensure the conservation of historic structures such as Barrington’s folly. The landscape architects OKRA and REDscape, in association with O’Connor Sutton Cronin (engineers), Venhoeven CS (architects), Howley Hayes (conservation architects), Fehily Timoney (environment and ecology), Modus Operandi (art consultants), and Davis Langdon (quantity surveyors) will work closely with Cork City Council on this project.
Pat Ledwidge, Director of Services, Strategic Planning and Economic Development in City Council said that: “This proposed regional park will achieve a number of objectives for the city including the provision of a world class modern urban park facility for the citizens of Cork while facilitating the upgrading of Pairc Ui Chaoimh into a high quality modern sport centre which will enhance the match day experience for all involved”.
IMAGES & TEXT: OKRA