City Council to consider bridge competition designs

City Council to consider bridge competition designs

Computer generated image from HH Plus Architects by Francis Keane Architect, one of the 55 entries in the Morrison’s Island international design competition.

Cork City Council will consider the outputs of a competition organised by the Save Cork City (SCC) group to redesign the public realm and flood defences of Morrison's Island.

Plans by Cork City Council and the Office of Public Works (OPW) for Morrison's Island flood defences are set to be published in November with construction expected to start in summer 2018.

Part 8 planning documentation is being prepared for the area, which is a known flooding hotspot.

SCC has campaigned for a multi-disciplinary approach to Cork city's flood defences since it was set up in January and has also called for a tidal barrier to be included in OPW plans for Cork's flood defences.

The SCC competition has received 55 entries from around the world. Entrants were tasked with designing a new pedestrian bridge to connect the two quays while retaining and highlighting the historic nature of the river and its connection to the people of Cork.

Entries have come from as far away as Qatar, Australia, and the US as well as Norway, Finland, Italy and the UK, with the winner set to collect €10,000. The deadline for entrants was September 22 and judges were in the city last week to consider the merits of each entry.

The winner will be announced within two weeks.

The six-person judging panel included chair Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects, a former Harvard professor, whose buildings stand all over the world.

Ms Farrell is to curate the Venice Biennale next year, the first time an Irish person has been appointed to do.

Ms Farrell was joined by Tim Lucas, who at the age of 23 provided the structural engineering for the Millenium Bridge in Dublin, alongside architects Siobhán Ní Éanaigh and James Howley. Artist Elilís O'Connell and English Market butcher Eoin O'Mahony completed the panel.

The competition is organised by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Cork Architectural Association with support from SCC.

A spokesperson for Cork City Council said: “[Of] note is the design competition being run by Save Cork City (SCC) with regards to their vision for the Morrison's Island public realm...Cork City Council welcomes this initiative and looks forward to the outputs from the SCC design competition feeding into the upcoming Part 8 process.” 

Seán Antóin Ó Muirí of SCC welcomed the City Council's interest and said he hoped elements of the winning design would make it into the plans for Morrison's Island.

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