International response to call for Morrison's Island proposals

International response to call for Morrison's Island proposals
Morrison's Island. Pic Denis Scannell

Submissions have come from all over the world for an architectural competition to redesign Morrison's Island which organisers hope will provide a template to reconsider Office of Public Works (OPW) plans for flood relief measures along the Lee.

Entrants 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 is September 22.

Morrison's quay is regularly flooded and organisers have tasked architects with engaging with other professional disciplines, historians, researchers, craftspeople, artists and community groups to reimagine the public space at Fr Matthew Quay and Morrison's Quay.

Entrants must design 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.

Once the competition is completed, the designs will be put on public display and the winning design will be presented to the OPW as an alternative to the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme.

The competition is organised by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Cork Architectural Association with support from the Save Cork City group which has campaigned against €140m OPW plans to build flood barriers along the quays and instead favours an upstream tidal barrier to curb flooding in the city centre.

Save Cork City spokesperson Seán Antóin Ó Muirí said he has been overwhelmed by the interest in the competition.

“The level of support is international and it shows how far reaching it is and that we are not alone. There are better solutions for what's on the table and we really hope this will become a template for the restoration and replenishment of the quays,” he said.

“It's very heartening to see from across the globe,” he added.

Architect John Hegarty who is involved with the Save Cork City campaign stated: “We want Cork to recognise what Cork is, a really wonderful place and up the ante and increase the ambition for our own city and what it could be and let future generations benefit. We keep saying this is a turning point for the city. We can take it apart or we can put it together."

The Save Cork City campaign recently outlined its own three-point plan for flood relief, which it believes will provide a “viable and sustainable” solution to the city's flooding issues. The plan focuses on building a tidal barrier, repairing the quayside landscape and slowing the flow of the river.

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