The Dublin Docklands Development Authority has lodged a planning application with Dublin City Council for the proposed sculpture on the River Liffey by the artist Antony Gormley. The submission follows a series of public consultations and includes a detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), prepared in accordance with Environment Protection Agency guidelines and in consultation with relevant bodies and agencies.
Since announcing the proposed public art commission in August 2007, the Docklands Authority has held ongoing consultations with the local community and local representatives. In addition, a number of open days were held prior to the submission of the planning application. The work has been commissioned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority as a key element in the delivery of the overall Docklands Arts Strategy. Its open weave design will allow light to permeate through and will allow visibility in all directions. Antony Gormley described it as being “like a charcoal drawing against the sky, changing as your position changes in relation to it”. The sculpture will appear different depending on where it is viewed from within the city and depending on the light levels at different times of the day and in different seasons.
The proposed sculpture is to be sited in the river adjacent to the Sean O’Casey Bridge, on the axis of Lombard Street East/Westland Row. It is a 46 metre high figure, 12 metres across at its widest point. The sculpture is to be an open lattice structure made from fabricated steel. Painted black and unlit, it would be placed on a single pile driven to the bedrock.
Specific boat collision protection measures would be provided to protect against any damage. The structure design also takes account of deflection, wind impacts and robustness requirements.
Paul Maloney, Chief Executive, Docklands Authority said that four alternative locations for the preferred sculpture were assessed and that the final site was chosen because of a number of factors. “It is positioned at a point between the old and new development areas of Dublin City and on a prominent site when viewed along the Liffey Corridor and along one of the main thoroughfares down to the River Liffey. It is also at a location where north/south and east/west pedestrian movements intersect. In addition, the proposed site allows the sculpture to be viewed against the skyline within an area of Dublin that has low rise buildings on both sides of the river and it does not interfere with navigation on the river Liffey”.
Subject to planning permission, construction is likely to start during 2008 and will take one year. The on-site construction period would last for three months. The structure would be fabricated and assembled in its entirety off site. It would then be cut into between four to six sections for transportation to the site by either barge or road. It would be assembled on site and the sections welded into place. A crane would be placed on the campshire and a piling barge used to drive the single main pile to the bedrock. It is proposed that a number of mitigating measures would be put in place during the construction phase to minimise any disruption.
Any representations regarding the planning application should be made within five weeks of the submission in writing to: Executive Manager, Planning Registry and Decisions, Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8