Bishop Lucey Park
Bishop Lucey Park is a secret garden in Cork City - a space that you encounter or find by chance. But to continue to engage with city life it needs to be more inclusive, more accessible while at the same wants to retain the characteristics that it has nurtured over the past 200 years, to ensure its unique sense of place. Its mature trees, medieval wall, fountain meeting point and entrance portal all anchor the park to the identity of the city. It is understood as a multiplicity of narratives ranging from archaeology, to natural habitats and plant life, to contemporary and historical pastimes and routes. The proposal seeks to draw on this to re-create its own cultural entity; a new public garden, imagined as a constructed landscape that creates continuous condition in which old and new elements and materials are woven with natural and man-made fabric.
Detailed Sections / Plan
This proposal responds by introducing a new organisation to the park around these elements. Three main sections are identified; a new sunken performance space around the medieval wall to the east, an open clearing to the centre for informal meeting and social activity and to the east the fountain organises the entrances from South Main Street and Tuckey Street, encircled to the west by a grassy lawn. The interventions - performance space, pathways, garden, benches, and lighting – are made as simply and directly as possible. The garden is characterised by a specificity of context, place and materials.
The intention is retain as much space for lawn and planting as possible to protect biodiversity, while opening up areas for human activity. The existing trees are pruned but retained where possible. The semi-enclosed performance space is lined a row of pleached Photinia fraseri (Red Robin) and the seating treads are sedum held by red sandstone stone risers. Designated areas are to be rewilded aided by planted ferns and grasses. Cathedral Lane is de-paved as a grassy passage with a meandering gravel pathway lined with New Tilia Americana (Linden trees). New ‘butterfly’ planting is introduced to encourage pollinators. The surface material is a combination of hard soft and porous textures; grasscrete, sandstone, gravel and lawn are carefully integrated to subtly stimulate a sensorial experience.
With thanks to Malin Mohr and Eleanor Duignan for their collaboration and beautiful drawings.