We were invited to participate in a design research competition to propose innovative and considered solutions for the renewal of Cork city’s quayside landscape in the face of the city’s proposed flood protection works which would result in high walls surrounding the existing quayside.
We proposed laying a continuous white Limestone plinth, expanding and contracting along its length, along the entirety of the Quays. The plinth is seen to rest on a bed of self-binding gravel which extends up to the edge of the surrounding buildings, intensifying their relationship to the edge.
Extending along the Eastern edge of the quay, an Arcade in manner of Hamburg’s Alsterarkaden or Florence’s Vasari Arcade, provides animation to the expansive elevation of the Cork College of Commerce. Benefitting from the morning sun, the arcade could conceivably host weekly markets which will extend a public route directly from South Mall across to White Street and South Terrace via the new pedestrian bridge.
To minimise the depth of deck required to span the River, we propose a pedestrian suspended deck bridge. Two steel beams rest on two four-legged ‘pylons’, built in the same manner as the Arcade, but with column orientations re-adjusted to direct pedestrian movement and generate increased stability. The pylons rest partly onto the quays and partly into the river, they demarcate the transition from walking on ground bearing slabs to suspended lightweight metalwork rising gracefully across the River Lee. The Pylons further act as urban signifiers at the end of Fr Mathew Quay on the North side of the quay, and as a visual terminus at the top of South Terrace on the South Channel.