Weaver Park, Cork Street
The success of Weaver Park on Cork Street in Dublin’s Liberties, has been in accommodating the aspirations, functions and activities of a district park on a small and enclosed derelict urban site and is Dublin City Council Parks, Biodiversity and Landscape Services first as part of the Liberties Greening Strategy. The design delivers a hive of activity within a park that is ecologically functional and delivers a new permeability that draws people into and through the space.
The park design incorporates designated skateboarding features such as a large skatebowl and secondary features such as seating walls that can also be used for skateboarding tricks. In-situ concrete with an exposed aggregate finish is the principal hard landscape material for paths, ledges and sitting walls as it is robust, attractive and matures gracefully. The aggregates are exposed through a grinding process that uncovers a decorative matrix of colours and a polished surface that enhances the crisp geometry of the concrete installations.
The multi-functionality of the park design extends to the central open space, this is provided as a place to play kick-about; with a natural amphitheatre aspect, it can also accommodate community gatherings or be used as an events space.
The large multi-level playground installation is a unique response in accommodating the maximum range of play possibilities and age ranges on a very compact footprint. The distinctive roof profile of the structure recalls the “Dutch Billy” architecture introduced to ‘The Liberties’ by the Huguenots and other continental settlers in the 18th century.
The gateway pergola is another contemporary reference to the area’s rich history. Its overlapping threads are an abstraction of the weave on a traditional loom, its poles reference the fields of ‘Tenter Poles’ between which fabrics were traditionally stretched to dry in the sun. It was in this location that ‘The Liberties’ weaving industry began, and it is in the new Weaver Park that this history will be remembered.
The fulcrum of the park is a 40-year-old Quercus palustris; this beautiful Oak tree now provides an instant maturity and a new focal point on the Cork Street landscape. It is an icon for the greening of ‘The Liberties’.