Seafront Development at Passage West

The project at Passage West involves the creation of a new seafront quarter for the town to include shops, residential units, hotel and a recreational marina.  The public spaces are of paramount importance and were initially planned by renowned urban design firm, Gehl Associates.  Our role was to design this set of external spaces in detail and create a dynamic environment for the future residents and users.

The hierarchy of spaces includes a central public plaza that fronts onto the sea; two secondary squares; several semi-public plazas and access routes; and several semi-private communal gardens for residents.  The spaces are detailed to create strong walking routes and connections to the existing town and to form inviting and comfortable places to sit and enjoy the sea air or the views.  Space is also flexible to allow for performances and festivals in the future.

The design was heavily influenced by the site’s history as a shipyard and the local coastal environment.  Forms and motifs are used throughout that reference the story of this place.  For instance, the SS Sirius – the first ship to cross the Atlantic entirely under steam power, in 1838 – was fuelled and crewed from Passage West before departing on that legendary voyage.  An impression of the hull of the ship is included in the ground pattern under a pool of water in the main square – preliminarily named Sirius Square.


Project Info.

  • Location: Passage West, Co. Cork
  • Client: Howard Holdings
  • Size approx.: 3 Hectares
  • Year of Project: 2007 - 2008

  • Project Team
  • Director: Mark Boyle

  • Team Members
  • Urban Designer: Jan Gehl, Gehl Associates, Copenhagen
  • Architect: RKD Architects, Cork
  • Engineer: Michael Punch & Partners, Cork
  • Quantity Surveyor: Edward Cotter Partnership, Cork