Facing an increasing housing squeeze, the city of Dublin has been exploring ways to grow sustainably within its existing urban footprint. Nested 16km to the south of the city between the Dublin Mountains and the Irish Sea, the 360-hectare Cherrywood area is the largest single urban development in Ireland, and will offer a mix of residential, retail, park and office space.
Connectivity and quality social infrastructure such as parks and schools drive the development of this key new suburb, which includes four light rail stations. Active travel has been given pride of place: three new public parks and extensive walking and cycling routes will connect the retail-focused town centre, three smaller village centres, offices and schools.
Designed to house around 25,000 residents, the planning authority designated Cherrywood a Strategic Development Zone back in 2010, a fast-track planning process for areas of national importance. Following the planning vision set out by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Arup has been working with property developer Hines since 2014 to design this mixed-use urban development.
Our team of engineers, urban designers and transport advisors have been designing this new suburb from planning through to design and construction stages, while our WELL consultants are helping the project team to work towards securing a WELL Community Standard™ – a district-scale rating system for healthy communities.
34haof park and active space
15kmof core streets
Infrastructure design – a connected data environment
Running parallel to the Luas line, Grand Parade Road is the spine of the town centre, with three public spaces at Cherrywood Square, Wyattville Link Plaza and Bride’s Glen Square. Bridging the Wyattville Link Road for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles was a critical element of the mobility strategy from the outset. Arup’s bridges and civil structures team engineered an innovative crossing at Wyattville Link Plaza, also known as Cherrywood Grand Parade Bridge, seamlessly connecting the town centre’s four quadrants. Widening the existing light rail viaduct, the bridge also accommodates two cycleways, a footpath and the town’s new key artery, Grand Parade Road.
To optimise the design, coordination and constructability of the bridge with our design partners, all traditional drawings and schedules for reinforcement and steelwork were delivered from 3D models. The use of digital tools shortened the modelling process by at least 50% and the time to produce 70 drawings from one day to one hour, while helping to reduce waste by enabling the detailed calculation of materials required for the reinforcement and steelwork.
“Fully modelling the bridge in 3D granted the added benefit of enabling us to provide design insights to the client and other members of the working team by producing 2D and 3D videos. We also created a virtual reality model, instrumental to get feedback as the design progressed,” said Pawel Ogonowski, Arup Project Manager for the Wyattville Link Plaza and Bridge.
Alignment enables integrated transport network
Respectful of the area’s history, Arup’s masterplanning consultants worked with Hines to create a sustainable town centre, delivering a desirable live/play/work environment with an integrated transport network.
After analysing the site’s existing transport infrastructure, including the Luas light rail system, bus corridors and the M50 and N11 highways, our transport planning specialists mapped traffic distribution within the masterplan and surrounding areas. A combination of walking and cycling infrastructure, new urban roads and squares are being developed to enhance the streetscape.
Arup supported Hines on all engineering aspects of the overall masterplan, particularly in liaising with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and bringing together a range of stakeholders including adjacent landowners, the local authority, utility companies like Irish Water, ESB and Gas Networks Ireland, and actors such as Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the National Transport Authority.
Sustainability drives Cherrywood vision
As part of our masterplanning support, our engineers and environmental consultants designed Cherrywood’s three large parks and contributed to the planning applications. The now completed five-hectare Beckett Park received the Public Park and President’s Choice Awards at the Irish Landscape Institute Awards 2020.
Harnessing native vegetation, the park offers a mix of recreational facilities, including all-weather sports pitches, tennis courts, jogging tracks, a boules court, outdoor gym and playground, together with high-quality open space for sitting, walking and relaxation. Sustainability was prioritised in the design of Beckett Park, incorporating existing retained vegetation and reusing excavated material such as granite stone to create seating and retaining walls throughout the park.
Ensuring resilience and adaptability across all aspects of the design were key considerations to future-proof the neighbourhoods, including allowances for climate change. Our water engineers developed the stormwater drainage design and attenuation strategy, incorporating bespoke sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) features, including bioretention tree pits to collect and filter stormwater. Arup also prepared a safety management strategy document for the overall site development and helped the client in its implementation.