Bridgefoot Street Park is a new public park in the Liberties area of Dublin 8, approximately 1 hectare in size. Dublin City Council Parks, Landscape and Biodiversity Department, engaged Dermot Foley Landscape Architects to design the park. Innovation is central to the design of this park in order to create a more sustainable and ecological project build. One of the main distinctive design features of this project is the re-use of secondary raw materials in the construction of the park, such as existing calp and concrete and reclaimed stone and brick, both as large paving elements and as aggregate.
Bridgefoot Street Park has been on site since 2020 (the original construction program was delayed due to Covid lockdown). The majority of the hard landscape elements are complete, such as the recycled aggregate in-situ concrete pathways, larch terraced seating, and the additional paving elements re-using secondary raw material are largely completed too.
The formal playground pieces are in place, and all of the earth mounding is now completed which will create informal play areas. 180 new trees have been planted and the additional soft landscaping works are largely completed. The soft landscaping consists of a mixture of herbaceous and ground-cover planting mix with some turf grass and some ornamental hedging shrubs, however, the over-riding landscape emphasis is on native wildflower seed mix which will be sown into a mix of soil and recycled aggregate. These seeded areas will germinate, flower, self-seed and develop into a naturalistic landscape which will be unique to this park, creating a biodiversity-rich environment for pollinators and wildlife.
In addition to the innovative design above, a key element of the park project was to have the local community involved in the process, through the design and construction of various elements such as a sculptural piece by the participants of the Bridge Project, and bird boxes by the participants of the Liberties Training Centre. These are exciting features of the park and will bring sense of local ownership and pride in the park.
A key feature of this park is a new community garden which is built on the strength and success of the community garden group, led by Richie Taplin. There is a huge interest in the community garden from a variety of residential and community groups in the surrounding area. While there is currently no access to the community garden area as it is still a live building site, the CDETB (city of Dublin Education and training Board) are providing weekly gardening classes to the Bridgefoot Street Community Garden group in the Earl street Allotments.
There has been a timelapse camera on the site since the beginning of construction which records the entire building process from a derelict site to a new urban park for the local community. The image below is a screenshot of the site from 30th September 2021.
All images by Deirdre Prince, unless otherwise stated.