Thursday 29 January 2009

The truth will out about designing good urban spaces

WHEN IT COMES to outdoor spaces in the city, we often look in envy at our Continental and American cousins who sit and sip cappuccinos in urban squares and loll beside ponds and fountains. Okay, they do have the weather on their side but the Irish love to sit out too, and will don sunglasses at the slightest of solar rays, and yet we still have precious little space in which to do that.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority has employed both US and Continental landscape designers to perhaps inject some of their magic into the docklands and three of them will be giving talks to enlighten us as to how they go about designing such spaces.

First up, on February 12th, is Martin Biewenga of Dutch company West 8 which has been landscaping across Europe, America, Russia and Canada, and has been working on ideas for the Liffey campshires.

Next is Martha Schwartz, the American landscape architect and artist who has given us the red poles at Grand Canal Dock (left). She will be discussing sustainability and design on March 5th. Finally, on March 26th, Olivier Philippe of Agence Ter, who is developing a linear park in the docklands, will discuss how he designs in layers. So, expect rich seams of information.

Lectures are free and start at 7pm in the CHQ building on Customs House Quay (tel: 01-635 1428 and

Irish Times

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