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Competitions Archive

Metro West – Liffey Valley Bridge Competition


  • Mr Pat O’Donoghue (Chair)    Director of Design and Construction (RPA)
  • Mr John McLoughlin         County Council Representative (South Dublin)
  • Mr Jim Cleary            County Council Representative (Fingal)
  • Mr Neil O’Brien         Architectural Representative (RPA)
  • Mr Paul Higgins        Engineering Representative (RPA)
  • Ms Anne Lillis            Environmental Representative (RPA)
  • Mr Tom O’Reilly        Metro West Project Manager (RPA)
  • Mr John Power        Director General, Engineers Ireland (EI Nominee)
  • Mr Des McMahon        Director, Gilroy McMahon Architects (RIAI Nominee)  

The assessors were most impressed with the high quality of the five remaining submissions made for the second stage of the Metro West Liffey Valley bridge competition. In the main the candidates sought to address the concerns and issues raised by the assessment team in the initial stages and the five shortlisted designs presented the jury with a challenging but rewarding task in considering their relative merits.

In the final analysis the assessors came to the unanimous view that competition entry No. 17 was to be the winning entry.      

Winner: Buro Happold Consultants Ltd / Explorations Architecture
Submission Number 17 – Winner: Buro Happold Consultants Ltd / Explorations Architecture

This entrant was deemed by the assessors as having best responded to the objectives of the brief. The design tailors a recognisable bridge design to best suit the local conditions using an innovative yet proven structural concept. The design is considered wholly in keeping with the receiving environment and addresses fully the requirement to minimise impact on the Liffey Valley whilst simultaneously offering users the opportunity to experience the setting. The assessors consider this solution iconic yet understated and look forward to experiencing its vista from a crossing Metro service.

Foster + Partners / Flint + Neill
Submission Number 2 – Foster + Partners / Flint + Neill  

The jury was most impressed with the changes adopted in the second stage which addressed many of the concerns raised by the assessors in Stage 1. Whilst the design was deemed iconic, when compared to the winning entry, it was felt that the structure’s expression in and above the Liffey Valley was not in keeping with the objective of minimising overall impacts.

Aedas Architects Ltd / Alan Baxter Structural Engineers
Submission Number 3 – Aedas Architects Ltd / Alan Baxter Structural Engineers

The jury was impressed with the elegant nature of the design and in particular the proposed treatment of pedestrians. The design could however have benefitted from a greater integration of the main structure and low level walkway. When compared to the wining entry, the impact of the columns in the Liffey Valley was a concern.

Scott Wilson Scotland Ltd / B+M Architecture
Submission Number 13 – Scott Wilson Scotland Ltd / B+M Architecture   

The jury was impressed with the modern application of a traditional structural form and in particular the idea of open lattice type piers. When compared to the winning entry the impact of the piers in the Liffey Valley was a concern as was the maintenance requirement.

Heneghan Peng Architects / Arup
Submission Number 21 – Heneghan Peng Architects / Arup 

The jury was impressed with the innovative concept and the fluidity of the proposed forms. The assessors were concerned with the complexity of the form proposed from a construction perspective and the potential for an aesthetically diminished product should rationalisation be pursued. When compared to the winning entry the greater presence of the structure on the valley floor was a concern.