Adamstown SDZ
Adamstown History and Process In 1997 O’Mahony Pike Architects (OMP) were asked by Developers Castlethorn Construction to advise on the potential of a greenfield site of 500 acres located north of the railway line in west Lucan. South Dublin County Council, landowners and designers have all worked together in an effort to deliver best practice in the built environment. The three principal landowners collaborated on a joint submission on re-zoning which led to the creation of a joint venture company, Chartridge. At an early stage, OMP identified the opportunity to re engage with the railway at the heart of a higher density town centre, based on the principles of the transit village. OMP subsequently prepared a planning application to deliver a sub-urban station on the Dublin-Kildare line to coincide with the 4 tracking of the line. It became operational in 2007 The planning process started with the preparation of an Area Action Plan, followed by the approval of a Local Area Plan in April 2001, prepared by SDCC. The area was prioritised by the granting of Special Development Zone designation in June 2001. The planning scheme for the SDZ, prepared by SDCC and OMP, was ratified by An Bord Pleanala in September 2003. As the SDZ was being prepared a Sustainable Energy Ireland sponsored Study was undertaken to inform energy priorities in the Masterplan lands. As the first phase housing was being completed by OMP, a study of the district centre was prepared in 2005 by Metropolitan Workshop to agree the urban design principles and organisation of the new town centre of Adamstown. The planning application, evolving from these principles, was approved in 2008. A similar process was undertaken for the ‘public realm’ through a study by Howley Harrington architects and Camlin Lonsdale landscape architects agreeing the detailed principles of streetscape and open space. The public realm was extended through a competition for the design of the parks won by Foley and Salles landscape architects in 2008. Adamstown SDZ Through the SDZ structure, South Dublin County Council became the Development Agency for the Adamstown Planning Scheme. A Steering Group of South Dublin senior officers, councillors, and representatives of Statutory Authorities was set up to monitor progress. The Steering Group ensured that the government departments and agencies and the various public transport representatives were now involved in the delivery of a planning scheme, informed by an extensive public consultation. The principles set down in the Local Area Plan did not substantially change and the general arrangement of roads, parks and density zones remained the same. However an immense level of detail was added to both the design of the services infrastructure and the built environment in the SDZ Planning scheme The Masterplan was organised around a hierarchy of district and local centres, a series of landmark elements and destinations, which responded to specific site characteristics. The town centre focuses on the station with two smaller village centres at Tobermaclugg in the north west and Tandys Lane in the north east. Schools and parks activate the village centres. More local parks occur along a network of amenity linkages and residential streets. The lands were divided into 11 neighbourhoods and 3 amenity areas. The essence of each of these neighbourhoods is described in the Planning Scheme Masterplan. The draft document took 60 weeks to prepare. This was the first document of its kind in Ireland and it constituted a detailed design for a new town comprising a potential population of 25,000 people with 8,000 to 10,000 dwellings together with all the other non residential uses supporting an integrated community of this scale. Phasing of housing development to coincide with the provision of all infrastructure was a key policy. The delivery process for the community is chronicled on SDCC website, Adamstown Housing Following the adoption of the Adamstown Special Development Zone Masterplan, the design of the first phase of housing was seen by our clients, Castlethorn Construction, as being a critical factor in the future success of the new Adamstown Urban Village project. The first phase of 650 dwellings incorporates a wide variety of dwelling types. The built environment is distinctly different from neighbouring housing, with three to four storey street edges, extensively landscaped “pocket` parks, high quality finishes to buildings. Adamstown District Centre The District Centre is the heart of this new community. Metropolitan workshop were selected to prepare the Urban Design for the District Centre which includes the outline design of 25,000Sqm of retail, 23,000sqm of other non-residential use facilities, and in excess of 700 new homes. From the outset it was agreed that the retail layout should be based on open streets not a covered mall and therefore defining those streets and places is that will give Adamstown its identity and distinctive character. The design process has entailed assembling the commercial brief, then testing numerous layouts to find an optimum configuration that fulfils good urban design practice. The parking arrangements for the 2400 cars and their relationship to the station for commuter parking, and to the two anchor stores, were the strategic decision that needed most testing. The locations, scale and character of the streets and civic spaces had to resolve the north south axis set up in the masterplan by the locations of the linear park and rail station entrance, the school and leisure zone to the east and the road bridge to the west for possible future expansion on the other side of the tracks. The location of schools within safe walking distance encourages use of public transport and the after school places to meet around the library and shops help to enliven the town. The Urban Design Guidelines include detailed landscape proposals, by Gross.Max. The lighting strategies for the Centre’s night time signature has been designed by Spiers and Major and Arup have developed the comprehensive energy strategy. The project has received planning permission. Architects involved include O’Donnell and Tuomey, Grafton, O’Mahony Pike, Duffy Mitchell O’Donoghue, Henry J Lyons and Horan Keogan Ryan.


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