A Landscape Infrastructure for Cork Harbour

The contemporary picturesque, as presented in this thesis, is a of landscape that is both cultural and industrial nature. Industrial, in that the landscape is a working, productive entity; adapting to changing uses over time, while paced to the tempo of natural and ecological processes. Cultural, in the sense of an empathetic engagement with it’s human collective.

A Landscape Infrastructure for Cork Harbour.
The sea’s potential to transform our contemporary world inspired our research group, to develop an idea for a ‘landscape infrastructure’ in Cork Harbour.

A research archipelago was designed to support the aspirations of the Irish Maritime Energy Resource Cluster IMERC’s, the needs of the Irish Navy and National Maritime College and the environment of Cork Harbour. With the absence of an immediate community of inhabitants, it therefore, tests the ideas of an imagined place developing over time. A landscape of islands is reclaimed, the industrial slagheap is remediated and a tidal wall for wave energy production is created. A network of waterways, walls, wetlands and transport routes, supports the setting for maritime research, testing and training. The tapestry is enriched with a programme of accommodation, public spaces, trading buildings and reprogrammed industrial warehouses.

To evoke the atmosphere of this uniquely imagined seascape, a set of individual research projects were set on this invisible territory.

This study repossesses unprogrammed ground to connect the archipelago in a landscape of public space. Taking cues from topography and history, it carves connections between the existing naval base, remnants of industry, new island additions and natural landscape for new and existing communities to share. The social agenda of the proposal, is a burial ground and public garden for permanent and visiting communities of the islands. It attempts to balance the local identity of Cork Harbour, global influences and the needs of the natural environment. The design moderates private and public thresholds to create spaces for people to meet, share and enjoy in a number of ways. At the same time, it is a geographically sensitive seascape and natural habitat and a place to reflect on time and ecology.