Dublin Port Company is a step closer to opening up its surrounds to the public following the installation of a four tonne Stainless Steel Ball.
Casting Port Centre in a new light, the Ball is inspired by the Time Ball which originally stood on Westmoreland Street. Each day the Time Ball dropped on the top of the Ballast Office at O’Connell Bridge to signal Greenwich Mean Time to ships in port.
From the podium, visitors will also be able to observe the Port’s operations from a safe distance, as intended by the original architects. The installation was conceived by Darmody Architecture as part of Dublin Port Company's plan to open up Port Centre and create new public realm. It will go on public display when the project is completed in the autumn.
Enabling works to prepare the site at Port Centre are ongoing and involve removing a section of the existing old boundary wall to create new pedestrian entry points at Alexandra Road and East Wall Road, identifiable by tall russet coloured structures made from Cor-ten steel, the same material that is used in shipping containers.
Moving south of Port Centre, visitors will discover a landscaped maritime garden with distributed seating, accessible from a new footbridge will connect relocated car park facilities. NCAD graduate and upcoming Irish artist Eimear Murphy’s new sculpture ‘The Drop’ will feature in the garden.
The scheme also fully integrates with Dublin Port’s future plans for a new internal road network, cycle and pathways. Approved by Dublin City Council and scheduled for development, the 3 kilometre route will give pedestrians and cyclists access to the port estate for recreational use for the first time, and includes a perimeter route with vantage points overlooking the Tolka Estuary.
The project which was announced last November will soften the Port’s boundaries into the City and provide public realm at Port Centre for the first time in 35 years.
This is the largest physical intervention by Dublin Port to reintegrate the Port with the City, as committed to in the company’s Masterplan. Works are being carried out by Wills Bros Civil Engineering.