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Marina Park · Cork, Ireland

A dialogue between river and city


Marina Park in Cork embodies many facets of the city. It fulfils the long-standing promise of creating a regional park to the east of the city. Like many former industrial cities, Cork has significant decommissioned industrial areas along the river, adjacent to its city centre. Today, these areas present an opportunity for residential development and the redevelopment of public spaces. Marina Park is a key component in Cork’s ambition to develop its docklands industrial area into a lively and integrated neighbourhood for the city.

Cork, Ireland
In progress
2012 - ongoing
Muncipality of Cork
(Phase 1) REDSCAPE, OCSC, Howley Hayes
Jason Gairn

Industrial heritage

The park is designed on a former brownfield site comprising mostly derelict showground buildings, a Gaelic sports stadium, and a rundown natural zone. This diverse and complex setting created a challenging context for crafting a well-planned and cohesive park. Based on our overall vision, the park is now realised in distinct phases, resulting in a large, diverse but coherent environment for the city.


Embracing the water: an adaptable park

In our plan, the park plays a vital role in managing stormwater runoff, not only within the park but also for the surrounding residential areas, and future dockland development. It presents a landscape-oriented solution for urban adaptation, accommodating the temporary storage of increased or extreme rainfall events and rising sea levels. Water becomes the backbone of the park, harmoniously integrating natural wetland areas with social gathering and event spaces. Our integrated approach to landscape, water engineering, and cultural heritage results in a well-balanced park that transforms the contextual challenges of temporary water storage into one of the park’s standout features.


Encouraging movement: multiple phases

As the first phase has been realised, the most urban and multi-functional part of the park has been taken into use. Here the park gracefully envelops the renovated Gaelic sports stadium and forms an extension of it for events and games. Where the different access points for the park meet, a new striking pavilion can be found. The central Hall repurposes structures of the former showground and houses a coffee bar. Next to it, the strong relationship of the square with water is made accessible to visitors with a water feature. A grid of fountains creates a creative play object as an attractive meeting point in the park.


Construction works will soon start on the next phases of the park: first the re-design of the promenade along the river Lee as an important slow traffic link with connection to the waterfront; then an eco-park with a more natural character to the east of the stadium, designed with the principles of nature concession. For this purpose, the Atlantic Pond is being transformed, enhancing its accessibility, vibrancy and ecological assets.  Newly introduced highlights such as an elevated tree path, forest themed playground and marshland, will create a park with greater diversity and quality of experience.


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