• Tuesday , 22 August 2017

Morrison’s Island International Design Competition

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Registered architects, landscape architects and engineers are invited to take part in a design competition to propose innovative and considered solutions for the renewal of Cork city’s quays and quayside landscape. The participants may consider engaging with other professional disciplines, historians, researchers, craftspeople, artists, community groups and/or citizens. Reference should be made to the historic material quality and historic images and photographs of Cork as part of the design process. The competition aims to explore the authentic quality of the city that has been lost in recent times and use what is on the ground in an economical way to reveal that authenticity and make sensitive modern design intervention. Considerate intervention may be economical and this would help to further promote the ideas portrayed.

For the competition participants are asked to:
- Re-imagine and renew the public space at Fr. Matthew and Morrison’s Quay in Cork City, Ireland.
- Design a new pedestrian bridge to replace the existing Trinity Bridge at Morrison’s Quay.
- Reveal the historic beauty and material quality of the Historic Quays: Fr. Mathew Quay and Morrison’s Quay.
- Enhance and develop the city’s relationship with the river Lee in order promote and encourage and reference river activities such as trade, tourism, community activity, sport and leisure.

The purpose of the competition is to unlock opportunity and potential, advance knowledge, and develop expertise and ideas across architecture, engineering and landscape design through integrated design solutions that are specific to Cork city. It is hoped that the output of the process will contribute towards the city’s future strategy for the quays by revealing new ideas and uses and promoting economical repair and maintenance of cultural identity and sense of place while inserting new design. Innovative solutions cannot be generated without informed reference to the past (the working of historic space in Cork and its material quality), combined with dutiful consideration of the needs of the future (climate change, social and economic development).

The impetus for the competition is a response to the Lower Lee (Cork City) Flood Relief Scheme proposed for Cork City. This scheme is based on a defensive approach to flood relief include building new walls (mostly reinforced concrete) along the quays and making significant footpath, bridge and drainage modifications. Access points to the river are proposed to be blocked off. Antique stone walls and railings, and many mature trees are proposed to be discarded and replaced with inferior materials and planting. River views could be reduced or lost entirely and the impact on Architectural Conservation Areas, protected structures and historic artefacts along the quays under the proposals would be highly significant. Further information on the Office of Public Works’ Lower Lee (Cork City) Flood Relief Scheme may be found at: www.lowerleefrs.ie. Public consultation for the proposed Lower Lee (Cork City) Flood Relief Scheme has recently been completed and submissions are under review.

An alternative solution to flood relief has been identified that focuses on upstream river and dam management allied with a tidal barrier that would provide a long term solution to fluvial and tidal flooding and remove the burden of defense from the quays and river banks. This enables a renewal of the relationship of the city to the river and enables new relationships to be created. The repair and reuse of the quayside landscape can increase amenity, encourage city life and tourism and reinforce the city as a place to live, visit and invest. There is significant evidence that the authentic repair of the historic areas of cities can lead to substantial economic gain through tourism, increased trade and increased investment. This may be combined with design intervention that may adapt and repurpose or reinforce landscapes and architecture and create new use.

Proposals for flood relief works in Cork offer a new opportunity to implement a strategic design review of the banks of the river Lee. An integrated design process can realise creative solutions that work in terms of urban space, historic fabric and hydrology. Design thinking is not necessarily looking for a costlier solution, but a more effective one that optimizes resources in the long term. As in nature considerate and meaningful design may be achieved through reference to all elements that may influence design. This includes the need to reveal a lost sense of place and material quality in Cork that the citizenry are crying out for.

It is hoped that future quayside developments in Cork city can be enhanced, informed and inspired by the competition proposals, and that collaborative practice will develop holistic solutions for improving the city beyond our current expectations. In particular, we hope that what makes Cork a specific and antique place may be clarified, maintained and reinforced for future generations.

Organisers
The competition is being organised by the Cork Architectural Association with the support of the National Sculpture Factory

Jury
Ms Yvonne Farrell – Grafton Architects – Chairperson
Mr James Howley – Conservation Architect, Howley Hayes Architects
Ms Siobhán Ní Éanaigh – McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects
Mr Tim Lucas – Structural Engineer, Price Myers Engineers, UK.
Ms Eilís O’Connell – Artist and Sculptor

The panel will be observed by two representatives from the local community.

Prize
The design contest will conclude with:
- The presentation of shortlisted entries at a public exhibition.
- A public symposium involving the public, invited contestants and key stakeholders.
- There will be a publication produced on a selection of the jury’s entries.

The winning entrant will receive a prize of €10,000.

Competition Programme
Competition Registration Opens: 22nd June 2017
Questions Deadline: 21st July 2017
Answers Circulated: 28th July 2017
Registration Deadline: 8th September 2017
Submission Deadline: 22nd September 2017
Jury Adjudication: 29th September 2017

Further information on the competition and how to register may be found from the competition website: www.morrisons-island-competition.com

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