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We’re Building a Play Park

30.08.15

We are getting our play on with a play park in Ballyfermot. The Matheson Foundation, in partnership with Dublin City Council, are funding the project to design and build a new Play Park in Ballyfermot. The Play Park will include a play area and a skate/BMX park which will be designed by engaging with the Ballyfermot locals.

The Matheson Foundation’s main objectives are helping young people to fulfil their potential and promoting corporate philanthropy in Ireland. Commenting on the launch of this project, Turlough Galvin, Chairperson of the Matheson Foundation, said, “the development of the Play Park in Ballyfermot will give the local children a safe and stimulating environment in which to grow and play together. We hope this will encourage other Irish organisations to embark on similar philanthropic activities.”

We are excited about the prospect of community led design in Ballyfermot. As our director Nathalie Weadick said, “we had been looking for a project that combined the IAF’s experience in delivering high-end architecture projects in the community with The Matheson Foundation’s philanthropic remit. When Dublin City Council came on board and suggested Ballyfermot as the location everything fell into place quite quickly.”

We are coming to the end of phase one of the project after a series of community consultation events over the summer where we ‘got to know the community’. Between July and August we held and attended various events to engage the community. These included: a meeting with young BMXers, skaters and scooters in Ballyfermot; a consultation picnic on The Lawns that we invited the community to; a committee meeting to discuss management, maintenance and objections with residents, Gardaí and Dublin City Council staff; Re-Draw the Lawns image making workshop; Play The Lawns, a site specific event to explore the lawns as a site for play including The Everyday Experience Swing, the What-IF Dublin Benches, featuring local art work, naturally wild life activities with Dale Treadwell of RTÉ Junior and an artist led Psycho Geography Tour with Rhona Byrne; and an enable by design workshop in Ballyfermot Library exploring universal design principals for people with specific access and learning needs.

The next phase of the project is a competition open to designers and architects to make proposals for the park. The competition opens to architect and landscape architect-led multidisciplinary design groups on 21 September. The Play Park Ballyfermot project is a unique opportunity for an innovative inter-disciplinary design collective, with a passion for working in community contexts to develop a world class play and skate space for young people in Ballyfermot. We hope for a wide range of creative practitioners to apply such as designers, architects, play therapists, skate/BMX pros, wild life experts, musicians or what ever!

Image: Cliona Ni Laoi