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Community Competition Public realm

Killybegs Play Space Winner Announced


The children of Killybegs town will soon have an exciting new Play Space as a ground breaking new commission gets underway.

Donegal Public Art Office worked with Killybegs Playground Committee and the Irish Architecture Foundation to commission architects to design a new play space for the town. The winners, Lotus Architects, headed by architect Peter Tansey, were selected from 32 competition entries from Ireland and abroad.

Lotus Architects’ design features grassy terraces linked by slides, slipways, platforms and a miniature waterway. The innovative design is linked to the town’s maritime history and includes climbing equipment made from wood and rope. Existing features of the site in Killybegs are sensitively incorporated into the design, with some play areas sheltered by the old tree and a quiet reflective area surrounding the monument to seafarers.

Children are the experts when it comes to play and the commissioners engaged play expert Jackie Bourke of playtime.ie to find out what Killybegs children wanted from their new Play Space. “Adventure, fun and imagination” were top of the list and Lotus Architects have responded with a design which will provide hours of fun and inspiration.

The project is the first of its kind in the country, said Thomas Pringle TD, chairperson of Killybegs Playground Committee. “Ultimately we wanted this to be the most amazing outdoor play space you could imagine and we are delighted that after years of hard local fundraising this will happen”.

“The idea of combining public art, playspace and architecture is ground breaking and the result is a highly innovative design that will be a fantastic play space for children as well as a civic space for Killybegs that the whole town can be proud of.” said Terre Duffy, public art manager with Donegal County Council.

Irish Architecture Foundation Director Nathalie Weadick commented “We’re very excited about this commission as its presents an exciting new way of engaging the public in architecture while, most importantly, children have a lot of fun. This could become a standard for the future of play spaces.”

The Play Space is the most recent commission from Donegal County Council Public Art Programme from a portfolio of over 70 projects completed to date. For further information please see www.donegalpublicart.ie.