Ebrington Parade Ground, Derry

The Ebrington site is located on the banks of the River Foyle, with the Parade Ground the central element within the historic Star Fort Walls. There are also 14 listed buildings on the site, and a total of 19 of historic or architectural note. The aim of the scheme was to transform the former Parade Ground at Ebrington Barracks in Derry / Londonderry to become a unique destination space within the Ebrington Masterplan, a new mixed use cultural quarter within the city. The square will become a focus for culture and arts in Ireland, and is a central aspect of the bid for City of Culture 2013. The proposal included a new public plaza, performance space, and sculpture / exhibition park connected to the city via the new PeaceBridge

The design and construct works included substantial earthworks to create a multi-level and tiered paved and soft landscape amenity area with interconnecting steps and ramps, glass balustrades and a glass pedestrian bridge. Access to the PeaceBridge was formed through an opening made in the listed “Star Fort” walls. The surfacing includes a mix of granite setts, slabs and cubes and Kilkenny Blue Limestone along with Raisby self binding Golden Gravel and turfed sunken gardens over a total area in excess of 2 hectares.  Provision and installation of precast walling and granite clad r.c. retaining walls, foul and storm drainage, soft landscaping and bespoke lighting as well as granite and timber street furniture. Also included is the installation of a ground source heating system consisting of 34 No. 120m deep boreholes and 14 No manifold chambers and CCTV installation.

 The project also involved close consultation with archaeologists and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, particularly in relation to work carried out within the Star Fort’s perimeter wall. This was erected by the British Army in 1841 and is the oldest part of the former military barracks. One of the more interesting elements of the project involved the unearthing of two antiquated cannons from the former parade ground.