25 June 2022
By Bryan Smyth
Plans drawn up by Cork County Council to enhance the design of Cobh town centre have received two awards at the RIAI Architecture Awards 2022
The Cobh Public Realm Urban Design Plan won the Urban Design and Master Planning category and took second place in the prestigious RIAI Public Choice Awards. The architecture awards recognise the quality of current work by RIAI Members in Ireland and abroad.
The project was one of thirty-one projects shortlisted. The finalists included all building types and infrastructure. More than 13,000 people cast their votes in the public choice awards.
Cork County Council worked closely with the local community to design a holistic vision for Cobh that promotes compact growth within the town centre.
The RIAI described the design for Cobh as an “exemplar” in creating sustainable communities through a “people-first” approach. It added that the project highlights the important role that Architects in Local Authorities play in the creation of desirable and attractive town centres.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Danny Collins said, “These are wonderful awards for the town of Cobh. In particular, it is an honour to be chosen by the public as one of the top two architectural projects in the country. The award-winning design is a result of huge collaboration between the different departments within Cork County Council, Elected Members, external stakeholders, specialist consultants and most importantly, the local community. These exciting plans for the town centre are about breathing additional life into Cobh and creating a more attractive place to live, work, visit and invest.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added, “It is a considerable achievement to win both a judges award and to be rated so highly by the public in a national competition. The judges said the project embraces all the ingredients of good place making including stakeholder engagement from the outset. The Cobh Public Realm Urban Design Plan is an exciting project for the town and one that has people entirely at its centre. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing it progress over the coming years.”
The Cobh Public Realm Urban Design Plan is a heritage-led project and aims to make the town centre a more pedestrian friendly and inclusive environment for all. The vision proposes introducing greener streets with more than 80 new trees planted, a new park, rainwater garden and sustainable urban drainage to bolster biodiversity in the town centre. It frees up space for outdoor events, includes 50% more seating as well as spaces for more than 200 bikes.
The next phase in the project is to apply for Urban Regeneration and Development Funding call and is intended to be built in six stages. Further information on the project can be found on https://cobhpublicrealm.ie/