Public Spaces

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'Grand Canal Square'

Grand Canal Square, an exciting urban space in Dublin's Docklands, was opened in June 2007.  The square is located a Grand Canal Dock on the south side of the River Liffey between Sir John Rogerson's Quay and Pearse Street.

Designed by American Landscape Architect, Martha Schwarts and developed by the DDDA, the 10,000 sq metre square is one of the largest paved public spaces in Dublin city.  The €8 million project is among the  most innovative landscape design projects ever undertaken in Ireland and Grand Canal Square has become a key cultural destination for Docklands and the city.

The Square features a strking composition of a red "carpet" extending from the theatre into and over the dock.  This is crossed by a green "carpet" of paving with lawns and vegetation.  The red "carpet" is made of bright red resin-glass paving covered with red glowing angled light sticks.  The green "carpet" of polygon-shaped planters filled with marsh like vegetation provides seating and connects the 'Marker Hotel' to the office development across the square.

Grand Canal Square is also criss-crossed by granite-paved paths that allow movement across it in any possible direction, while still allowing for the Square to host major public events such as festivals and performances.  This layout can accommodate a diverse range of activities throughout the day or night.


'Mayor Square'

Mayor Square, in the IFSC, was shortlisted for the Academy of Urbanism Award 2009 in the Great Places category.

Mayor Square was regenerated from dereliction to become a lively and attractive public space.  It is now the focus for residences, some 30 restaurants and shops, a créche, offices, a 4-star hotel, and the National College of Ireland.  

Located on the eastern edge of the city's central business district, on the north side of the River Liffey, Mayor Square traverses the quarter east west and north south linking to the river quayside by pedestrian street, Excise Walk.  



photo © Karen Jones

Campshires are stretches of cobbled paths between the quay and road on the north and south of Dublin's Quays.  They are named campshires because the various British Regiments such as the GloucesterSHIRES etc. used to camp on them before setting off or returning from battles.

Before the Port facilities moved down river the campshire areas were used for loading and unloading cargo.  The Dublin Docklands Development Authority renewed and rejuvenated the whole area with walkways and cycle tracks being installed on both sides of the River Liffey.

The Campshires play host to a range of events and activities throughout the year including 'The Dublin Port Riverfest' and 'The Parade of Sail'.  It is also an excellent viewpoint for events and activities from both the north and south of the River Liffey.

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