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Walled Garden, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design & Technology

ADDRESS: IADT, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire Co. Dublin
CLIENT: Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design & Technology (IADT)
COMPLETION: April 2009
SITE AREA: 3335m²
PROJECT STAFF: S Diamond, K Wolak

2009 Winner, Irish Landscape Institute Commercial & Institutional Landscape Award
2009 Commended, Irish Landscape Institute Heritage & Conservation Award

Relocation of the main IADT car park provided an opportunity to open up access to and develop a neglected walled garden as an attractive route from this new car park to the campus buildings. The client brief was to design the garden in remembrance of IADT students and staff as an area to gather and chat, with more secluded areas for reflection and contemplation.

One of the walled garden’s existing qualities is the sense of enclosure and varied levels of isolation created by the small groupings of mature apple trees. Our aim in developing the memorial garden was to retain and build upon the unique character and connection to nature provide by these apple trees.

Linear beds of flowering perennials defined by corten steel follow an east-west axis to encourage visitors to stray from the main north-south pathway into the more intimate extremes of the garden. Benches have been arranged along the east-west axis to open up a variety of views through the garden and connect with the existing trees, boundary wall and new perennial plantings.

The hardwood benches and corten edged planters subdivide the garden into a series of spaces that offer varying levels of privacy for reflection and contemplation.

Transition from the crunch of gravel under foot, as you progress along the main pathway, to inscribed granite paving denotes arrival at the central garden. Defined by the ornamental grass Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’, this space offers a relaxing environment to socialize and enjoy the garden. The layout, seating and planting serves to create a feeling of enclosure and comfort. Large south and west orientated benches encourage visitors to gather and experience the reflection pool and fountains.

Scented perennials and bulbs trigger memories of a particular time, place or person. The seasonal variation offered by these plants along with the pre-existing apple trees, mark the passing of time. This theme is continued in the progressive colour and tonal change of the corten steel and hardwood cladding.

At nightfall up-lighters place emphasis on the apple tress and Calamagrostis enclosure. A white light from within the benches illuminates words laser cut into the corten end panels, expressing the gardens theme.

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