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Riverfront Amenity Park

ADDRESS: Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim
CLIENT: Leitrim County Council
SITE AREA: 12,890m²
PROJECT STAFF: S Diamond, J Coughlan, K Wolak

2007 Joint Winner, Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards, Public Sports and Recreation Award
2009 Commended, Irish Landscape Institute Public Realm Award

The River Front Amenity Park is a fundamental element of the overall Strategic Plan for Carrick on Shannon, developed in recent years by Leitrim County Council. The project incorporates a contemporary Linear Park and Boardwalk set out onto the water of the River Shannon. The layout for the park, designed by SDA, involves several paved piazzas with urban lighting and seating, a new continuous compacted bound gravel pathway, native tree planting along with selected decorative shrub planting, The Boardwalk, designed by NMA Architects, which is approximately 174 metres long incorporating two viewing platforms, is intended to bring the public out onto the water, allowing them a new perspective on the Shannon and the nature that is involved along a river’s edge.

The existing site extends approximately 500m east from the quayside at Carrick-on-Shannon Bridge towards the roundabout access to the town centre. Formerly a narrow sliver of marginal grassland and floodplain, the site is defined along its northern side and segregated from the town by the N4 Dublin to Sligo road. An existing Alder Carr woodland follows the river’s edge, along the full length of the site, screening any views of the river from the town and road.

Initial works consisted of the informed removal of alder scrub along the banks of the River Shannon to provide views from the town down to the river. The remaining areas of alder were supplemented and formed into a composition of abstract biotope islands by the planting of additional native transplants, as a reference to riparian islands typical of the Shannon landscape.

The marginal grassland and sections of floodplain were carefully reclaimed and sculpted to achieve an informed balance between usable amenity open space and intact marshland. All Class 1 biodiversity value areas were retained as existing.

The parkland developed a wave-form profile as a result of pushing reclaimed land out to interface directly with the river, in areas of limited biodiversity value, returning back to retain species rich areas of floodplain and reeds. This varied profile provided a diversity of landscape and habitats throughout the park.

A number of long sculptural benches are located along a meandering pathway as a sequence of focal points, highlighted by light pillars, to draw visitors through the park and connect with the new boardwalk, alder biotopes and ornamental planting. Their flowing form references the movement of water along the river.

The benches have been positioned to concentrate views across the parkland and River Shannon. A further connection to the river is in the benches profile and wood grain imprint, formed by horizontal softwood shuttering referencing the hull of a wooden boat.

Linear strips of Calamagrostis echo and extend the character of the riverside reed beds through the park to form a strong connection between parkland and river. These striking ornamental grasses channel views towards and place emphasis on the river, while increasing the perceived width of the linear park. The sense of movement, verticality, seasonal change in colour and transparency introduced by these bold plantings animate and breathe life into the landscape.

A tall sculptural bench has been designed as a landmark to announce the start of the new park, providing a pleasant resting place overlooking the new marina and river.

The project is intended to engage intimately with the landscape setting and be responsive to the contours of the Shannon and flood-levels. Pathways run above the level of the highest recorded flood, and viewpoints were specially situated in response to the landscape.

This Project has given to the town of Carrick on Shannon, and the wider Region, a modern take on an urban ecological park that will allow the public the full enjoyment of the ecology of the river Shannon. Panerai replica series of high-tech ceramic watch Touch 132 limited edition genuine rolex replica sale diamonds, always shining bright light, is the perfect choice for the love of compelling tag heuer replica sale lady. Has been "fusion of art," said replica panerai watches, throughout the femininity and strength into the hublot replica design philosophy - never follow it fashionable, but breitling replica sale in material ideas collide with exquisite fake hublot modern aesthetics cleverly intertwined, burst out of the longines replica sale of firmness and flexibility of female beauty!

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