Blackrock Park Masterplan 2020
Very impressive achievements to date!
Phase 1 renovation is now complete
We will cover plans for Phase 2 renovation in our next edition
The Parks Department of DLRCoCo have completed Phase 1 of the Blackrock Park Masterplan 2020 having set out to build on the strengths of the Park and address the weaknesses identified by their SWOT analysis and public consultation. Some of what has been created in Phase 1 Renovation is quite stunning and worthy of review in more depth and detail
Here are some of the highlights!
Booterstown Entrance to Blackrock Park (above)
At the core of the work undertaken was an attempt to create a sense of place and identity. The Masterplan highlighted the need for a stronger entrance at the Booterstown end of the park. The analysis also emphasised the disconnect between the two ends of the park. The beautiful entrance created by DLR is highly impressive and is very much in harmony with the surrounding geology.
A very interesting geological feature is that the location of Booterstown Dart Station lies on the geological interface between Wicklow Granite to the south and Dublin Calp limestone to the north. Calp limetone is a blue/grey stone and a shiny black colour when wet. Blackrock draws its name from an outcrop of calp limestone close to the shoreline.
The unique geological character of the site is reflected in the use of Wicklow Granite and Kilkenny Limestone. The paving is half limestone and half granite broken along a fractured line. The different pavior sizes was also a gesture to emphasise the geological character. The profile of the pillars was directly influenced by the prismoidal shape of the milestone marker (see below).
Milestone Marker (above)
Continuing on the theme of threshold, the location of Booterstown is close to the municipal boundary and the city/ suburban threshold. A milestone marker from the 1700’s remains in place close to the park adjacent to the Booterstown Marsh boundary. This marker is another reminder of how old the route of the Rock Road is and the site’s proximity to the city centre.
The Martello Tower Entrance (above)
An unusual arrangement at Seafort Parade featured two entrances immediately adjacent to each other. The analysis highlighted the need to give the Martello Tower more space and presence in the park. This informed the decision to remove the entrance and access path adjacent to the tower. It now sits within its own green space. The unique oval piers had featured a set of locked gates but now the entrance is open with a cut granite circular threshold and is very impressive looking.
Main Park Route
The route, which runs the entire length of the park, is the main element of the completed work. The route has been widened from 3m to 5m. Awkward pinch points, such as at the Gas Substation, have been eliminated by strategically realigning the route. It contains a 2m wide pedestrian route and 1.5m each way for cyclists. A lot of thought and discussion was given to the final finish on the route. It needed to provide contrast and visual segregation as well having relevance within the park setting. The local stone is a granite which has a unique mix of silvers, buffs and browns. The colours and textures of the granite helped to inform the final material finishes. The buff on the cycleway is a continuation of the finish used in the broader DLR context and the silver provides enough contrast but also sets up a very complimentary tone.
The Masterplan allowed the opportunity to step back and capture a proper, strategic perspective of the park. This helped highlight features and interventions that are not now deemed appropriate within a flagship park. The Italian garden at the Booterstown end and the rose garden were two such elements. Both featured a warren of paths and failed to contribute anything to the park facility. Part of the works involved removing these and returning to lawn. The Italian Garden space is now a very popular area for play as it is set down in an embracing hollow. The rose garden adjacent to the lake has been removed and replaced with lawn and a coherent promenade path. This area is earmarked for a new natural playspace.
Another popular new feature in the park is the meandering footpath between the Martello Tower and Phoenix Terrace. The surface for this path is a crushed stone chosen to give a tactile and sensory experience. The meandering outline is to emphasise the casual, slow nature of the path and to echo the coastline. Paths have been removed and shifted to set up a more coherent arrangement while respecting the historic setting. The new promenade connecting the bandstand and the lake was aligned to centre exactly on the bandstand and the large Scot’s Pine tree growing on the lake island. This promenade has been planted either side with more trees.
Opportunities to upgrade planting arose as the park renovation works progressed. There have been over 200 new trees planted. Several large areas have been planted with herbaceous planting. Specific locations of new planting include along the slope beside the pump house, at the base of the sea wall beside the lake and in the large grass area between the lake and the main park route.
BFEI student wins Blackrock Map design award
Congratulations to everyone involved in the BFEI/BBN Blackrock Map project – most especially the winning Graphic Design student – Olga Porcu. Well done, Olga, you have done yourself, the Design Team and everyone in BFEI/DDLETB proud. Special thanks to Vivienne Bradley who oversaw the project on behalf of BBN and to Nicki Cloonan who did the same on behalf of BFEI.
'Something for Everyone' at BFEI Night School!
Blackrock FEI is delighted to relaunch its Night School. There is a very interesting and varied range of courses. Most are hobby/personal development courses and there are also some courses which lead to QQI Level 6 qualifications. BFEI is excited to open its doors to the community. These short part-time evening courses are delivered in a relaxed environment and are also social in their nature.
There will be an ‘Open Evening’ on Tuesday 20th September from 5:30 – 7:30pm. A team of teachers will be there to answer any questions. You will also be able to register at this time if you wish.
Alternatively, go to https://www.bfei.ie/evening-courses/ to read about the courses and to Enrol online. Queries can be directed to email@example.com
The Blackrock opens its doors!
The Blackrock bar and eatery recently opened its doors in the building vacated by Wetherspoons. The Blackrock is a stylish new establishment and will serve a food menu inspired by European, Middle Eastern and South American flavours, as well as an extensive cocktail list and various beers on tap. The Blackrock proudly joins the family that includes sister venues The Bridge 1859 and Lemon & Duke under the ownership of Rob Kearney, Dave Kearney, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip and Noel Anderson. We wish this new venture well!
Dublin Climate Action Week 12th-17th of September 2022
Dublin Bay Biosphere Climate and Biodiversity Cruise
On Wednesday 7th September the Dublin Bay Biosphere in partnership with CARO (Climate Action Regional Office) hosted a tour of the Biosphere aboard the St. Bridget, a cruise ship with a capacity for 110 people. The cruise was an opportunity to highlight issues such as sea level rise, coastal erosion, the need for coastal/flood protection, the importance of sand dune habitats and sea grass as natural barriers protecting us against extreme events and related topics.
dlr Festival of Inclusion 2022 - Invitation to Participate
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (dlr) County Council is delighted to host the dlr Festival of Inclusion every autumn. The aim of the annual dlr Festival of Inclusion is to highlight and celebrate social inclusion initiatives and to support and encourage all to actively participate and engage in the community. dlr Festival of Inclusion is a community-based social inclusion events programme that promotes the many groups, organisations and volunteers organising activities and events and offering supports in the community.
This year the festival will begin from Thursday 29th September and we will have events running throughout October 2022. dlr Festival of Inclusion events should involve groups/organisations bringing people together to connect, engage and celebrate community well-being and raise awareness and promote social inclusion and diversity. Events can be in-person, online, via the production and promotion of a video, etc. DLR Festival of Inclusion has a small events fund for voluntary community & social inclusion groups to organise events during the festival. Further information here.
You are invited to send details of events/activities that your group wish to have included in the 2022 dlr Festival of Inclusion Events Programme by Wednesday 14th September 2022.