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UCC Cavanagh Bridge wins AAI Award

12 March 2019

UCC Cavanagh Bridge wins AAI Award

The Cavanagh pedestrian bridge and riverside walk acts as a crucial link in the chain of connection between the UCC campus core and the Western Road. It opens up a new entrance to the university from the north city area. It makes the green space, known as Perrott’s Inch, along the river available for use by the campus community and members of the public. It consolidates the parkland character of the riverside grounds of the university.

The riverside gardens have been re-landscaped to provide amenity space for the city and university. Lawns bordered in meadow grasses provide a changing landscape, usable all year round. The serpentine pathways provide places for reflection and recreation. The bridge provides new perspectives to the picturesque composition of the clifftop neo-gothic quadrangle.

Five laminated larchwood beams span 27 metres across the south channel of the River Lee. The longspan beams land on concrete abutments, modelled to provide steps, ramps, walls and seats. Special finishes were applied to this everyday material (sandblasting, grinding, polishing and trowelling) to distinguish the different surfaces and chamfered edge details of the abutments. Planning restrictions required the bridge structure to be raised above the 500 year flood-risk level. The northern abutment undercroft arches are designed to allow for the flow of the river in full spate. The hardwood slatted bridgeway floor and parapet upstands are detailed in untreated jatoba, a sustainable hardwood specified for its durability. Construction details were meticulously designed to achieve a complex sequencing and assembly of materials. The bridge is designed to be a long lasting structure, elegant in its outline, crafted in its detail and integrated with its landscape setting.

An exhibition of all the entries to the AAI Awards 2019 is open to the public in the RIAI Architecture Centre on Merrion Square (Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm) from March 4th – March 15th.

A presentation of the 2019 AAI Awards will be held in the RIAI Architecture Centre on Thursday evening, March 14th at 6.30pm. All welcome.

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