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New RIAI & OPW Architectural Competition for a Commemorative Bridge at the Irish National War Garden

Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Ciaran O’Connor, State Architect at the OPW; David Browne, President, RIAI; Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief; Kathryn Meghen, CEO, RIAI and OPW Commissioner, John McMahon

Dublin, November 14 2018: The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Office of Public Works (OPW) have launched an architectural design competition to build a new commemorative bridge at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens (INWMG) in Dublin.

The announcement is timely as it comes just three days after the Armistice Day centenary, which marked the end of World War I.  Located at Islandbridge in Dublin 8, the Irish National War Memorial Gardens are dedicated to the memory of 49,400 Irish soldiers who died during the four-year conflict.

The gardens were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, whose original design concept included a three-arched bridge over the River Liffey, to link the gardens to the Chapelizod Road and the Phoenix Park. However, the bridge was not constructed during his lifetime.

Proposals are now being sought from an architect led team to design a new landmark bridge for the capital.  The process will be led by the OPW and administered by the RIAI.

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief said: “The Irish National War Memorial Gardens are one of the city’s most culturally significant gardens, yet are untapped as a major tourism destination. This commemorative bridge competition is the first step in realising an important new crossing point, linking sections of Dublin’s walking, cycling and military trails across the river Liffey and extending links from Kilmainham, to the Phoenix Park and further afield.”

Commenting on the launch of the competition, Ciaran O’Connor, State Architect at the OPW said: “The Irish National War Memorial Gardens are located at a place of great historical, cultural and geographic importance. It is fitting that as we mark the centenary of World War I, we are completing the last element of Sir Edwin Lutyens’ plan with a ‘Commemorative Bridge’.  The new bridge will link the north and south banks of the river at the location first proposed by Lutyens, which is aligned with the main axis of the gardens.” 

Kathryn Meghen, CEO, RIAI said: “This is a genuinely exciting opportunity for architect led teams to create and submit designs for consideration, with the winning proposal set to become the city’s latest iconic landmark. The competition demonstrates the value that architects add to all aspects of Ireland’s built environment, supporting the social and economic structure. We anticipate the quality of designs will be exceptionally high.”

Some 450,000 people visit the Irish National War Memorial Gardens each year.

Design teams can find out more by visiting www.riai.ie 


For media queries, please contact:
Anna Kavanagh, Drury|Porter Novelli, 087 692 9458 / anna.kavanagh@drurypn.ie
Fiona O’Connor, Drury|Porter Novelli, 087 694 9601 / fiona.oconnor@drurypn.ie

About the RIAI
Founded in 1839, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland supports and regulates the architectural profession and promotes the value that architecture brings to society for everyone’s benefit. Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @RIAIonline

Note to Editors:
Proposals from architect led design teams should comprise of the following four elements:

1. A new pedestrian and cycle bridge, which will span the river Liffey and connect the war memorial gardens and an existing cycleway
2. A formal ceremonial entrance at the Chapelizod Road side of the river
3. An open plaza linking this entrance to the bridge for ceremonial occasions
4. Suitable landscaping

Categories: Architecture | Competitions | Press Releases | RIAI Press Release

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