Architects offer alternative to Tiernan's Arthur's Quay plans
A TOP Limerick architectural firm has presented a radical alternative to the propsed demolition of the Arthur's Quay complex to the city planners.
In a detailed submission to Limerick City Council last week, O'Connell Street architects O'Connor & Shanahan expressed "alarm" at the plans for the multi-million redevelopment of Arthur's Quay by local developer Michael Tiernan.
Instead of developing a mixed retail development, they have called on the council to build an iconic building for civic use, which would be modelled on the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.
"We feel quite strongly that the proposal to build on the park should be reconsidered as this space is a valuable asset to the city which has been reinforced by the removal of the railings in recent weeks," stated architects Robert Shanahan and Michael O'Connor.
The architects requested that their submission should be considered when the final City Centre Strategy is drafted next year. However, the images of Mr Tiernan's proposed redevelopment of the area have already been incorporated into the draft strategy and have been broadly welcomed by the planners.
Mr Shanahan has pointed out to the planners that this space was developed as part of a master plan for the area just 16 years ago.
"Though it has never worked to its full potential it is still an important public space in the city and the only public space which address the river at its widest girth," they said.
Mr Shanahan said the one flaw with the design of the park when it was built in 1991 was that the three lanes of traffic in proximity to the park made it awkward for the public to cross the road.
However, a number of city councillors have publicly backed the plans by developer Michael Tiernan to demolish Arthur's Quay complex, as well as a number of other buildings in the vicinity of the shopping centrre.
Under Mr Tiernan's plans, Dunnes Stores, Penney's, Burger King, TSB, Sarsfield House, and Debenhams, would all be knocked for the development of a major mixed retail development on the same site.
While an official planning application has yet to be submitted to the city council's planning department, it is understood that three small parks will form part of the new development. Cllr Jim Long said he believes the proposal "is a courageous move and not at all contentious".
The submission by the architects, entitled Scratches on the City, also states that the city urgently require a multi-functional civic building, which they propose to locate on the Dunnes/Debenham's block.
"We think it is high time that the people of our city had an identifiable civic building which they can call their own," they said.
They also outline plans for the orbital traffic route to be rerouted underground, specifically under the existing Arthur's Quay Park.
Search for a job
Weather for Limerick
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 6 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west