New design for Luas bridge in Docklands unveiled
The Dublin Docklands Development Authority has unveiled a dramatic design for the new Luas Bridge across the Royal Canal at Docklands North Lotts. This bridge is an important element in the extension of the Luas connecting the IFSC to The Point. The bridge structure combines functionality with design and will be a centrepiece of the planned Royal Canal Linear Park.
The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) and the Docklands Authority appointed London based architects, Future Systems and Arup Engineers to design the bridge. The resulting structure is almost as wide as it is long to accommodate the Luas tram lines and traffic lanes. It broadens and dips down in the middle with curved walkways and cycle paths on either side to take pedestrians and cyclists close to the water. Specially designed lighting will emphasise its unusual, floating structural quality.
Architect Amanda Levete describes the Luas Bridge as "incredibly slender, soft and languid. It curves up at the edges like a manta ray. We wanted it appear as a piece of land art that relates to the park".
"The visual impact of the bridge is significant as it is in a conspicuous location visible from quite a distance along the canal in either direction. It will clearly impact on the Royal Canal Linear Park by dominating the skyline of the section running from North Wall to Sherriff Street. It is also close to the proposed Santiago Calatrava designed Samuel Beckett Bridge at Macken Street and should act as a foil to it and to the mass of the National Conference Centre at Spencer Dock. The success of the Sean O'Casey Bridge in branding the Custom House Quay area of Docklands suggested that a suitable design could help reinforce the identity and sense of place at the western entrance to the North Lotts area" commented John McLaughlin, Director of Architecture, Docklands Authority.
"We see this bridge as a unique opportunity to deliver a remarkable piece of architectural legacy and a very positive addition to the planned Royal Canal Linear Park" said Paul Maloney, Chief Executive, Docklands Authority. "The park is major landscape architecture project for the Docklands Authority, and one which we believe will transform the stretch of the Royal Canal where it enters the River Liffey".
The tendering process for the construction of the Luas Bridge will commence in June and work will start in Autumn 2007.
Future Systems, designers of the bridge, has a strong reputation for its architectural achievements. Led by Amanda Levete and Jan Kaplicky, the practice designed a floating bridge at Canary Wharf in London in 1994. Future Systems won the Stirling prize in 1999 for the Media Stand at Lords Cricket Ground. More recently they designed the Naples Metro in collaboration with the artist Anish Kapoor. The practice has also had the prestigious honour of having had an exhibition dedicated to its work in the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. See www.future-systems.com
For further information and images, please contact:
Loretta Lambkin, Docklands Authority, 01 818 3300, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheila Gahan/Andrew McLindon, WHPR, 01 669 0030 or 087 234 2409