Value Creation | Intellectual Property

Image description

Projects Proposals / Waterford North Quays SDZ


Client :  Irish Govt / Developer JV

Brief + Design  :  Darragh Murphy Jan 2016

Location : North Quays Special Development Zone (SDZ), Waterford City

Submission Date : Submitted to Waterford City Council - May 2016

Waterford North Quays Development Proposition

Grade A Office Campus Hybrid Comprising Workplace  / Tourist Attraction


Waterford City North Quays was recently designated Special Development Zone Status. The Site is currently undergoing Demolition and Survey Works, and has been the subject of several previous Masterplans. This Proposal presents a case for a Cultural Attraction dispersed within the Future Office Element of the North Quays Site to create a Unique Hybrid Environment. This could include a significant Maratime Theme drawing upon the Existing Heritage associated with Waterford. There is an Opportunity presented when constructing Large Office Buildings to Utilise the Space Between and Below in an Innovative way.

There is potential to realise one of Irelands most interesting Office Campuses whilst contributing to the South East Region's list of Civic / Tourist Attractions. The Intention is to create a vibrant and Innovative Work Environment which is enlivened by an everpresent Cultural attraction below and between. This Hybrid arrangement may have the potential to attract Multinationals and prominent companies to Waterford and South Kilkenny. A series of Office Buildings running along the Quay Front with a Social and Cultural Zone at their Base. 


Image description

Public Area with Maratime Exibits on Display. Lock Access / Egress subject to Integration with Car Parking Proposal Underneath

A Maratime / Transport Museum Heritage attraction within the SDZ allows for Synergies with the Tall Ships Festival and the Viking History of Waterford. It could generate Significant increase in Tourist activity for the South East whilst providing valuable sustainable employment potential via the integration of Craft and Restoration activity.

A Transport based Museum of National Significance is a Potentially Valuable Cultural Project for the North Quays SDZ. There is immediate access to River Rail and Road for Exibits. The scope of a Museum could expand to include Workshop Space for ongoing Restoration Projects providing valuable long term craft and cultural employment potential. Fully restored Viking Ship and Longboat are Illustrated above. Adjacent Spaces could accommodate a Seafaring vessel such as a Vintage Schooner or a Rail related Exibit. There is opportunity for a Satellite Offshoot of the National Transport Museum in Howth subject to their approval

Image description

View from Social Zone within a Typical Office Block overlooking Cultural Zones at Ground and First Floor Levels. A Mix of InterConnected Atria and Stand Alone Office Blocks is Proposed.

The groundswell of Public Interest in recent years toward Waterfords Cultural Heritage boosted by the success of the Tall Ships Festivals and the work on the Viking Triangle could be harnessed to make a case for an enlarged Cultural attraction. The Proposition also presents an opportunity for a portion of the National Vintage Transport Stock to be displayed on a rotating basis in a Spacious Comfortable Environment. The Proposal is for a Unique Working Environment with a number of Interesting spaces placed alongside more conventional Office Layouts. An Office Campus with a compelling layout would have the potential to draw Major International Companies to the North Quays ( ie. Satellite Offices for Technology Companies etc ).

Image description

Office Buildings shown in a Potential Broader Development Context.

Image description

View of a Typical Bay looking South. Typical Office Blocks envisaged would be 4 to 8 Floor Levels. 

Image description

Economic Case , Spin Off Opportunities etc

A Unique Cultural attraction could contribute to the success of a new Hotel development on the Ard Ri site. The development might comprise a section dedicated to the restoration and upkeep of Exibits or indeed even full reconstruction. Redirecting the local skill base of former craft workers. Cultural employment opportunities or voluntary participation for Pensioners seeking active engagement in the Community. Public Interaction is envisaged with Workshops being open for viewing or as part of guided tours. An immersive experience where Tourists see the restoration process and might even participate in Craft based Activity holidays. 

There is an Opportunity for a Complimentary and a Counterpoint attraction to Kilkenny's Medieval Sites and Design Workshops. Create an Incentive for Tourists visiting Kilkenny to continue onward to Waterford. 

New tourist markets could be courted - from Asia , Middle East etc. The Development might become a departure point for River Tours - ie. to Woodstown Viking settlement. There could be spin off ventures such as the Lending of Exibits to other Museums - cross cultural opportunities with Great Britian , Scandanavia etc. Docking for functioning Exibits could be provided from the River subject to installation of Lock facilities for Access & Egress.Rail Stock could be brought in via connections to the Railtracks nearby. Permanent or semi permanent mooring of a Full sized Tall Ship is an option on the Quay itself or externally between 2 Large Office Blocks.

Image description

Social Zone in Office Block overlooking Exibit Zone

Image description

Suggestion for Building Forms for the section of North Quays as viewed from Barronstrand Street Vista 

Image description

Alternative Structure - 'Viking Hall'

Experiential / Immersive Tourism within the Broader Waterford North Quays SDZ

Experiential tourism involves active participation and involvement and draws people into local culture and history. Quality, memorable Visitor experiences are a shared outcome between the visitor and the experience provider. Experiential tourism attracts people to places, attracts markets to merchandise. Experiential tourism engages all five senses and includes “the story of the place. Experiential tourism opportunities include learning new skills or engaging in a new activity. 

The Recent Medieval Museum already successfully covers much of Waterford Citys History. A series of full size Maratime or other Transport Exibits would have a novelty factor and could be accommodated both in terms of Project Economics and Physical Space required by placement in the Spaces between Large Scale Commercial Office Development. 

Image description
Image description

Excerpts from Sketch Book - Concept Sketch  + Early Thoughts on Building Profiles

Aspects of the SDZ Development should be relatively Porous in terms of their Contiguous Elevational Treatment. The existing Ferrybank / Airmount backdrop should be considered when Planning for a Series of Buildings.  A number of Contemporary Gable Forms would add interest to the new Cityscape. Rooftop Plant facilities should be concealed from all vantage points including distant views. A number of Elevational treatments could make subtle reference to notable Eras in Waterfords history by way of Variance in Structural and Fenestration Motifs - ie. Medieval Scandanavia / Tudor etc.