Renovated crane a major part of Dublin’s ‘port-city integration’
Objective with €6m plan is to transform port into ‘an attractive and welcoming place’
Crane 292: Dublin Port chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly with former crane operator Liam O’Brien at the restored machine. Photograph: McCabe Photography
Anyone travelling along East Wall Road can’t fail to notice a renovated 1950s Stothert & Pitt crane, painted light blue and riddled with holes for architectural impact, rising above what looks like the rusty upturned hulk of a sunken ship.
This is one major element of Dublin Port’s €6 million plan to open itself up to the city, announced a year ago and recently inaugurated by Lord Mayor Mícheál MacDonncha, wearing his hat as admiral of the port, in the presence of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
The six-storey Port Centre, designed by Scott Tallon Walker and completed in 1981, had been marooned behind a stone wall that extends all along the east side of the heavily trafficked East Wall Road. The latest project aims to “soften” this hard edge.
Architect Tim Darmody said his scheme was “all about port-city integration”, with an impressive set of heavy pre-rusted Corten steel gates leading to a plaza in front of the port company’s headquarters and a landscaped garden to the south.
One of its most striking features is the way in which the name “Dublin Port” is boldly etched in the Corten steel panels, which were made in Prussia Street by BA Steel Fabrication. Another is the new chrome steel ball that reflects the port company’s headquarters.
Ultimately, the scheme will tie in with plans to relocate visiting cruise liners from Alexandra Basin to new berths just east of the East Link bridge. “The overall objective is to transform the port into an attractive and welcoming place,” said chief executive Eamonn O’Reilly.