MMAS Architects

MMAS Architects

Our entry for a competition to redevelop Bishop Lucey Park in Cork’s City Centre aimed to increase awareness of the city’s medieval wall whilst forming open thresholds to the park via various architectural interventions that also acted as focal points for new routes through. Our ambition was to create high–quality public spaces within and around the park which would encourage a range of diverse activities.

We felt that the existing secluded ‘garden’ condition of Bishop Lucy Park was important and should be preserved and embellished. The challenge was to then integrate the park space into the ebb and flow of everyday city life while also maintaining the nature of the green space and preserving or even heightening the experience of moving from the ‘streetscape’ through to the ‘garden’. 

 

We sought to reveal the location and scale of the historic city wall, by cutting the ground plane down on both sides to meet its original base and expose what survives, giving a line of sight to the wall itself and orientating the garden and public space toward it. To protect the historic structure while enabling a direct engagement with it, a cruciform concrete deck spans along the top of the exposed wall and forms ‘bridges’ connecting civic space to park.  

From this walkway, a stone colonnade rises to the height the medieval wall once stood, following its path from Tuckey Street to the Cemetery. This device forms a new permeable civic threshold to the park, a strong frontage to the civic space along Grand Parade and a flexible ‘stage’ or ‘armature’ for events, exhibitions or displays. 

Water features were designed to be on both sides of the medieval wall, a pond to encourage biodiversity in the park and a shallow pool with fountains in the civic space. Stepped seating would be provided in the civic space to create a subtle amphitheatre effect for events, talks or performances.  

We proposed re–configuring the Park diagram to place Triskel Arts Centre as a civic building within the public realm in contrast to its current condition with railings that surround its frontage and separate it from the Park. A new bus stop and bike stand canopy on slender stone columns form a kinship with the Triskel’s neo–classical portico and marks opened up South Main Street entrance. A new open–air coffee kiosk built in the same materials would bring life to Tuckey Street and mark this threshold to the park with activity and social interaction. We also proposed opened up Christ Church Cemetery to the park, with its historic headstones and picturesque solemnity, to provide a more reflective, contemplative space within the wider gardens.

To maintain continuity of urban memory and physical history, our interventions started with the retention of certain existing urban elements and artefacts – We then introduced a series of new limestone and concrete architectural elements.  In some case a looser rustic stone will be used or conventional cut slabs, and in other instances as innovative and precise stone structural expressions. This new composition of old and new, weathered and sharp, traditional and innovative, would create a timeless setting where the history and evolution of the place is evident in the architecture.   

Our entry for a competition to redevelop Bishop Lucey Park in Cork’s City Centre aimed to increase awareness of the city’s medieval wall whilst forming open thresholds to the park via various architectural interventions that also acted as focal points for new routes through. Our ambition was to create high–quality public spaces within and around the park which would encourage a range of diverse activities.

We felt that the existing secluded ‘garden’ condition of Bishop Lucy Park was important and should be preserved and embellished. The challenge was to then integrate the park space into the ebb and flow of everyday city life while also maintaining the nature of the green space and preserving or even heightening the experience of moving from the ‘streetscape’ through to the ‘garden’.  

 

We sought to reveal the location and scale of the historic city wall, by cutting the ground plane down on both sides to meet its original base and expose what survives, giving a line of sight to the wall itself and orientating the garden and public space toward it. To protect the historic structure while enabling a direct engagement with it, a cruciform concrete deck spans along the top of the exposed wall and forms ‘bridges’ connecting civic space to park.  

 

From this walkway, a stone colonnade rises to the height the medieval wall once stood, following its path from Tuckey Street to the Cemetery. This device forms a new permeable civic threshold to the park, a strong frontage to the civic space along Grand Parade and a flexible ‘stage’ or ‘armature’ for events, exhibitions or displays. 

Water features were designed to be on both sides of the medieval wall, a pond to encourage biodiversity in the park and a shallow pool with fountains in the civic space. Stepped seating would be provided in the civic space to create a subtle amphitheatre effect for events, talks or performances.  

 

 

We proposed re–configuring the Park diagram to place Triskel Arts Centre as a civic building within the public realm in contrast to its current condition with railings that surround its frontage and separate it from the Park. A new bus stop and bike stand canopy on slender stone columns form a kinship with the Triskel’s neo–classical portico and marks opened up South Main Street entrance. A new open–air coffee kiosk built in the same materials would bring life to Tuckey Street and mark this threshold to the park with activity and social interaction. We also proposed opened up Christ Church Cemetery to the park, with its historic headstones and picturesque solemnity, to provide a more reflective, contemplative space within the wider gardens.

To maintain continuity of urban memory and physical history, our interventions started with the retention of certain existing urban elements and artefacts – We then introduced a series of new limestone and concrete architectural elements.  In some case a looser rustic stone will be used or conventional cut slabs, and in other instances as innovative and precise stone structural expressions. This new composition of old and new, weathered and sharp, traditional and innovative, would create a timeless setting where the history and evolution of the place is evident in the architecture.   

Bishop Lucey Park, Cork