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The Challenge

‘Christ Church Cathedral and its Synod Hall have become little more than a picturesque traffic island, surrounded on nearly all sides by heavy through-traffic – the railed garden acting as a buffer from passing vehicles. The major street junctions at this location confuse and disorientate the pedestrian, while the setting of these internationally significant buildings is substantially degraded.’I

Christchurch Place is one of the most important spaces in the City and one of the most problematic. The widening of Nicholas Street and High Street, the Peace Garden, the recessed face of Jury’s Hotel and the absence of a building at the North-East corner of the Werburgh Street/ Castle Street junction have all robbed this space of any sense of enclosure making it hard to read and even more difficult for pedestrians to navigate. There are no plans to relieve this location of its heavy volume of traffic. The best we can hope to achieve is to insulate the visitor from its impact and provide cues in the streetscape that will reassure, intrigue and inform.

  1. Dublin Civic Trust, DCBA. Defining Dublin’s Historic Core

High Street, Nicholas Street and St. Michael’s Hill are all highly trafficked and (bar St. Michael’s Hill) are part of the Inner Orbital. It is a real shame that the arch linking the Synod Hall to the Cathedral – a unique feature- is dominated by traffic underneath. In the longer term, it would be great to see St Michael’s Hill as a largely traffic-free space.The retention of access to the underground car parks of the City Council is obviously critical here but with a little imagination, the lightly trafficked Cook Street could accommodate movements.

Christchurch dominated by busy traffic

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