Dublin, Ireland (2005)
The Tree Calendar: the ancient Ogham calendar used the seasonal characteristics of trees as a way of naming and identifying the thirteen months of the year. Our proposal for the Royal Canal Linear Park brings this ancient culture of trees into the everyday lives of those living and working in the Dublin Docklands.
Dublin’s current growth spurt is evident in the countless construction cranes that crowd its skyline. In the next decades, Ireland is expected to grow at a faster rate than any other country in the EU; Dublin will become increasingly dense, reaching a population of almost two million by 2020. The inland waterways that currently thread throughout Ireland offer expanding cities important opportunities for recreation and ecological restoration. Spencer Dock is at the center of the new urban expansion and its transformation from post-industrial vestige to dynamic urban park will be felt all the way up the canal to Shannon.
The Royal Canal Linear Park (RCLP) is the place where Ireland’s past and future meet. Our proposal for a four-season linear forest along the canal begins with the idea of celebrating Ireland’s ancient culture of trees and the site’s more recent industrial history. However, in the urban landscape layers of use and complex ecologies can only accrue through time; a
newly initiated park begins as a demonstration of certain landscape principles that will take decades to fully realize. The mechanisms by which the concept of an Irish forest transforms the site into an regional urban recreation corridor and ecological spine are embedded in our approach to increasing connections between neighborhoods, constructing an ecologically rich edge between land and water, and promoting the recreational uses of the site.