Bishop Lucey Park

Cork, Ireland

Competition proposal

Bishop Lucey Park is a 19th Century park made in the late 20th Century by accident. It is seen as a largely passive space with the hush of a library – KEEP OFF THE GRASS! Our 21st Century park life needs to be about accommodating everything, about informality and in particular about active participation. It is a place of contrasts – active and peaceful, a place of hard and soft finishes, wet and dry, shady and sunny, private and social, day and night, a place to pass through and a place to linger. It is a place that has a special role in the city for education, play, art, culture, heritage, events, music, festivals, eating, resting, meeting, talking, study. All of this needs to be created within a budget of less than €2 million and embrace historical continuity, cultural heritage and contemporary arts. To transform Bishop Lucey Park we propose adding two new elements:

– A ‘Ghost Wall’: an urban heritage interpretation and event structure raised above the line of the old wall. Made of a light, translucent Cor-ten steel mesh wall, it hovers over and reflects the width and shape of the old city walls below.

– The ‘Serpent’ is a 135m long multi tasking, meandering, sculptural interactive structure, made of concrete and decorated in Gaudi like colourful ceramic mosaic tiles. It will be a magnet for activities in the park being open-ended to allow for multiple uses: 900mm high horizontal surfaces create layout space for art & craft markets and educational events. Drinking water fountains are integrated into a central spine with continuous planters, filled with herbs and vegetables. Built-in tables and benches at lower heights have large canopy umbrellas added in Summer for shade and shelter on market days. Bins and storage are integrated along its length. The serpent is a flexible, interactive structure that can host art exhibitions and market stalls, It is both fun and practical.

Our proposal is to create a series of multi tasking, interactive community structures and interventions that are flexible and suggestive rather than definitive of use. These structures are abstract and varied to encourage uses and activities both predicted and unforeseen and to stimulate and encourage interaction and engagement in the life of the park.

The future of the park is fun and interactive.