‘Best Public Space / Urban Design’, Irish Architecture Awards 2014

Special Mention, Architectural Association of Ireland Awards 2014

Granby Park was a temporary park that was built on a vacant site in Dublin’s north inner city in August 2013. It was open for one month. It was made from up-cycled, recycled, donated & found materials and was a collaboration between some of the city’s most talented artists, event coordinators, architects, performers and creatives. Built & coordinated voluntarily, almost 400 volunteers and 1,100 supporters helped create Granby Park. The park consisted of an education hub space, 30 artist installations, a cafe, a children’s play area, a 300-person amphitheatre, graffiti wall & boules pitch, surrounded by planting and furniture. It was visited by 40,000 people.

"As Chairperson of Dominick Street Lower I can speak for the residents when I say Granby Park has been a success in our area, as we are in the middle of regeneration. It has been fun, exciting, family friendly and very welcoming to all. We have enjoyed being part of it and it’s been great to look over and see it every day. Overall it has been a very positive project, thanks to the UpStart group, DCC and all the volunteers."

− ON THE CLOSURE OF THE PARK: Anna Brean Finnegan (Community Representative, Dominick St Lower):

"As Upstart is a totally not-for-profit organization, Granby Park was created by an enormous crew of volunteers. All of the team, from those involved in the first Upstart project, to curious passers-by donating an hour of their time after work, are voluntary. This has created a really healthy and open environment within the team, and sustains Upstart’s aim of remaining non-hierarchical. It allows everyone, regardless of their experience, to join in simply on the merits of enthusiasm and support for the park."

− OPENING OF PARK Aaron Copeland (Co-Founder of Upstart, Fundraising Team):

"The poster project in 2011 gave us an opportunity to allow artists to express themselves in particular political sphere. One of things that Granby Park is doing now is providing a physical platform for artist to express themselves. Ireland works through connections and small communities, and we are trying to use these connections for positive projects, bringing in and teaming up with so many of these communities around us, and forging positive new relationships which ultimately led to the creation of this park in its physical structure, and its legacy."

− Sam Bishop (Co-Founder of Upstart, Site Management Team):

"I trust that Granby Park will be amazing and all the work that has been done is work that has never been done before. One of its many great legacies will be citizen engagement. We are taking public property and showing how it should be used. This is starting to happen more and more; we are part of a wave of new thinking or consciousness. May it be fun, creative, emotional, expressive, joyful, full of sustainable everything and full to the brim with community and love."

− Peter O’Brien (Co-Founder of Upstart, Site Preparation Team):

"Granby Park not only sets a precedent for activating disused spaces in Ireland. It also facilitates a totally unique cross-border initiative. Witnessing young people from Protestant areas of Belfast and Antrim working literally side by side with young people from the Dominick Street area to build the amphitheatre is truly special. Taking a symbol of perceived sectarianism (palettes) and creating something beautiful, symbolic of co-operation, understanding and having fun together."

− Richard Harris (Theatre Team)

"Granby Park is nothing short of magic. Out of nothing, a whole new community has blossomed. As the person looking after volunteers and recruitment, I have been totally amazed at the time, effort and skills people are willing to give us to make this project a reality. For me, an absolute highlight of Granby Park is the way in which it has allowed people to indulge their passions and to participate in a positive community experience!"

− Annemarie Ní Churreáin (Volunteer Team)

"We have been totally blown away by the amount of support and good will shown to the park and we want to sincerely thank the local residents, volunteers, crew, visitors and everyone involved. We never expected this amount of people to visit or to engage with the space. The success of Granby Park demonstrates the public’s desire to see vacant space used for creative purposes and not to be left lying vacant. It shows that people want to see more of this kind of thing."

− CLOSING OF PARK: Samuel Bishop (Co-Founder of Upstart, Site Management Team)