May 17, 2019
Port Centre precinct is a new public realm space that creates a legible urban interface of the Port with the City and provides a variety of character areas from a public plaza to an intimate walled maritime garden around the existing HQ building, Port Centre on a site area on 1.7ha. Architectural interventions include the Turnstiles Gates that pivot to form fin walls to open the Plaza to the north & a restored Heritage Crane with an illuminated sculptural plinth to the south that signal the Port’s threshold off the East Wall Road. Within the site a footbridge spans off a Moat wall to connect the relocated car park to the HQ elevated podium while over sailing the garden. 

A mirrored ‘Timeball’ sculpture on the podium is scaled to reflect the working port in with human movement passing by and Alexandra Road boundary has been reconfigured with an automated sliding wall and board-marked concrete fin walls that conceal an electrical substation. The use of Corten steel for the interventions compliments the existing modular concrete Port Centre building and was chosen for its weathered uneven surface finish that has poetic associations with industrial & maritime heritage & the passage of time. Perforated steel surfaces create patterns of texture relating to historic naval maps and modulate light through the massive elements of gates, walls and crane.

This presents a new public realm for Dublin City, opening up Dublin Port to the city. It provides increase in public engagement due to its variety of distinct character areas from a formal plaza to an intimate walled maritime garden offering the local & wider communities a new amenity to enjoy including the facility for public events.

Large automated Turnstiles Gates pivot to form fin walls to afford views of the Plaza from the East Wall Road. Perforated corten steel surfaces have patterns echoing ancient Portolan Maps & abstract artwork of Dublin Bay. Industrial heritage is preserved. The restored Heritage Crane is set within an illuminated sculptural corten plinth to form a new landmark for the city. The maritime garden contains many examples of exotic plants within a sheltered environment screened by the heritage calp limestone walls that demarcate the historic edge of the city & the sea.

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