Created around the idea of enhancing the surrounding Dockland neighbourhood and Dublin at large, The Catalyst acts at once as a physical link and as a new vantage point that encourages pedestrians to take a moment to reflect.
The organic curved form of the bridge is a nod to significant buildings in the area, such as the Harp Bridge and Convention Center (CCD), and the Irish cultural heritage, which prizes circular and curved designs and patterns. In addition, the design utilises a symmetrical approach so as to resonate with the local Georgian heritage architecture.
With a pivotal structure driven by a cylindrical motor, the bridge can move to allow for the passing the boats and large ships that are still a regular presence in the waterways of Dublin and make space for cultural activities like the Dublin Marine Festival. In addition to these practicalities, the bridge itself houses an amphitheatre and can support a variety of performances.
“Functionally, the new bridge is a meeting place, a viewing platform for visitors, a worker’s break-out area, a lover’s dating spot, a shortcut for pedestrians and cyclists, and an amphitheatre for buskers,” said the design team.
“Despite the vast functional possibilities, our bridge proposal respects and realises the rich historical context of Dublin by creating a space that looks back at its urban context. Our response to the enhancement of Dublin is to create a place that acts as a catalyst to stimulate and exhibit the transformation of the city. The bridge is a book to the stories of Dublin, waiting to be discovered.”