The proposal for a new entrance, bridge and civic space for the INWMG placed the existing gardens and their structures at the heart of the new inventions. When traveling the existing axial route from Con Colbert Road, you are immediately protected and enveloped by the large canopy of existing mature trees as you descend into to the embrace of the limestone walled lawn. This sense of enclosure, protection and the legibility of Lutyens’ axial plan dissipates as you negotiate the limestone embankment walls on the approach to the Temple. When viewed from Chapelizod Road, the axial view evaporates into sky with no structure to contain or frame your view.
Our proposal places a new tapering triangular timber ‘Boathouse’ on the northside of the river. The new structure act as a lens framing the Temple and the view through to the red of wreaths that sit at the base of the cross beyond. The new structure not only frames the temple but also defines the entrance into the gardens while stitching into and enhancing the built environment of boathouses and sheds of the northern riverbank. The triangular shape responds to the symmetrical nature of the garden and echoes the Viking structures and boats of the site’s history.