DLR Red Jetty, Dún Laoghaire

For the Summer, Autumn and Winter of 2017 the Red Jetty has been opportunistically located in a number of parks and public spaces in the county of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown. The first public location for the Red Jetty was LexIcon Garden at Moran Park, Dún Laoghaire – the green open space fronting DLR LexIcon. It was subsequently located in Cabinteely Park and again in Marlay Park. Its current location is a small pocket park in Bracken Road in Sandyford Industrial Estate.

Red Jetty will continue to move every two months in 2018 to other urban locations in the county as a catalyst for acknowledging and in some cases establishing public space. It is not just a bench – it is also a path and runway – a place to exercise and promenade – as well as a piece of parkland furniture. It is a people attractor, a social magnet with vivid graphic identity.

Red Jetty is in the form of an interactive bench that offers a place of rest as well as gathering for all ages. With echoes of Dún Laoghaire Pier, the geometry of the bench starts as a line and then spirals in on itself to make a forum at its centre. It is made of 200mm planks of planed red deal painted in a signal red spanning between cylindrical concrete supports and is to be read against a background of bright green grass. It is easily disassembled and allows for various other geometric configurations to suit its setting each time it is relocated.

Red Jetty is in part a gentle nod to both Max Bill’s Variations on a Theme 1 as well as Robert Smithson’s seminal Spiral Jetty (1970) in the Great Salt Lakes of Utah. It is a temporary intervention – a hybrid concept that is as much a work of landscape design as it is architecture per se.