Grand Canal Square is the major public open space in the Dublin Docklands Development area. This one hectare site is located on Grand Canal in Dublin and forms the focal point of this new development.
Facing out toward Grand Canal, it is flanked on its landward end by Daniel Libeskind’s prominent new theatre and entertainment building as well as a new hotel to the north and an office development to the south.
In this setting dominated by contemporary architectural expression, MSP has created a public space that offers color and dynamism to Dublin’s open spaces.
Due to its cultural celebrity setting, a scheme with a central red carpet has been developed that leads from the theatre out onto the canal and vice versa.
A green carpet connects the new hotel to the office development. The red carpet is paved in a newly–developed, bright red resin/glass material.
Red–glowing, angled lightsticks that mimic the ‘bustle’ on the red carpet accent the grand walkway. The green carpet has a calmer expression and offers ample seating on the edges of planters of various heights.
The planters, extruded polygons of the green carpet, are planted with marsh vegetation as a reminder of the historic wetland area of this site.
Some offer immaculate lawns for lingering and enjoying the spectacular setting. Pushing out of the plaza is a water feature of randomly stacked green marble that is overflowing with bubbling water.
The square is further criss-crossed by narrow paths that allow for movement across the square in any possible direction while still accomodating large–scale activities such as markets or fairs. The new square will be an urban magnet with 24–hour activity accurately interpreting Dublin’s energy.
Says Martha Schwartz, President of MSP, “Our objective in the Grand Canal Square scheme was to create a vibrant, energetic space that would flow naturally into the dynamic and expressive volume of Liebeskind’s theater.”
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Architect: Martha Schwartz Partners
Size: 1 Hectare
Client: Dublin Docklands Development Corporation