Friday 24 May 2019

'Calm and captivating' new Dublin bridge designed by architect behind the Spire

Ian Ritchie Architects previously designed the Spire of Dublin
Ian Ritchie Architects previously designed the Spire of Dublin
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

DUBLIN is getting a new bridge – and it is being designed by the architect behind the Spire.

The design of the commemorative bridge at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge has been unveiled by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Office of Public Works (OPW).

The winning architect is Ian Ritchie Architects, based in London, who previously designed the Spire of Dublin to mark the Millennium.

Submissions were received from architects in nine countries including Ireland, UK, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong and USA. 

But Ian Ritchie’s design was selected by the judges as it was “a simple and elegant way of stepping from one side of the Liffey to the other.”

The design includes slender blades of stainless steel, mimicking the reeds and rushes around the river.

Ian Ritchie Architects will receive a prize of €15,000 for the winning entry.

Ciaran O’Connor, State Architect at the OPW and chair of the jury, said: “The Vision Statement for this competition sought a 'bridge design and landscape setting that rises above pure utility, beyond basic construction, to combine all that is practical and necessary, with a design proposal that is meaningful and memorable, that enriches the present, honours the past'.

“To that end, the winning scheme was never far from the jury’s considerations. It understands and distills the essentials of the competition through a simple, but not simplistic, bridge design that springs the river with elegance and ease.

“Its design is calm and captivating yet resonates with multi-layered inspiration. A fitting winner.”

Speaking at the announcement, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, said the completion of the new commemorative bridge, in line with the original vision, will enhance these gardens for all to enjoy.

Ian Ritchie has acted as design master planner for the Natural History Museum and The British Museum, and his practices have contributed to major architectural and engineering works throughout Europe including the Reina Sofia Museum of Modern Art, Madrid, the Leipzig Messe Glass Hall and the Louvre Sculpture Courts and Pyramids as well as Dublin’s Spire.

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