The Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF), The Matheson Foundation and Dublin City Council are delighted to announce that design and architectural practice, Relational Urbanism, has been awarded first place in their international competition to design a unique play and skate park for the community of Ballyfermot in West Dublin.


Ballyfermot Youth Service staff member Ger O’Reilly was asked to sit on the judging panel for the design competition and represent the views of young people in the area. He feels that the winning designers, Relational Urbanism, genuinely embraced the user-focused ethos of the competition –

“I’m over the moon with the decision to choose Relational Urbanism as the architects for this project. They really listened to our young people and took on board the community’s feedback in the second stage of the competition. They have come up with an amazing design that will no doubt be a huge success for Ballyfermot” Ger O’Reilly, Youth Worker, Ballyfermot Youth Service.

The design guidelines for the new play park were directly shaped and influenced by a programme of community engagement events led by the Irish Architecture Foundation over the summer of 2015.  The IAF, working alongside Dublin City Council, met with over 360 local people at picnics, play days, building design workshops and public meetings to outline plans for the park and take on board community suggestions, concerns and aspirations for this innovative community facility.


The Play Park project has been funded by The Matheson Foundation in partnership with Dublin City Council and the IAF; and will combine a play area and skate/BMX park. The overall construction budget for the project is €500,000, making it one of the most significant investments in a play space in Ireland. It meets the Matheson Foundation’s objectives to help children fulfil their potential and promotes corporate philanthropy in Ireland. The project also utilises IAF’s skills and expertise to create community led design projects.
We are really excited about the chosen design. The winning architects really managed to bring to life the opportunities offered by the site and their design offers the most ambitious play facility for the positive development of young people in Ballyfermot. The process and community engagement has given rise to positive developments too. The children involved have seen and participated first hand in a process involving local politics and design. Their contribution has been vital to, and can clearly be seen in, the outcome of the winning design. Hopefully this will give them the confidence to engage in similar opportunities in the future.” Turlough Galvin, the Matheson Foundation.


The judging  panel for the competition was led by Amica Dall of the Turner Prize winning design group Assemble , Ger O’Reilly, Instructor, Ballyfermot Youth Service, Leslie Moore, Head of Parks and Landscaping Division, Dublin City Council; Aimee Harding, Youth Worker and Ballyfermot Resident; Turlough Galvin, The Matheson Foundation, Gary Mongey, Box Architects and Chairperson of Irish Architecture Foundation, and was chaired by Nathalie Weadick.