Limerick Twenty Thirty appoints FCBStudios and Bucholz McEvoy Architects to lead design team to transform historic Cleeves site

The new urban quarter will be an attractive cultural hub destination, offer new gathering spaces for the City and community, and act as a catalyst for new models of sustainable urban living and working in Limerick.

An initial masterplan for the 10-acre site on the northern bank of the River Shannon aims to provide around 300 homes and 42,000m² of workplace within extensive riverside public realm and renovate and reuse the historic Flaxmill as a cultural anchor for the area. The proposals seek to act as a catalyst in the regeneration of Limerick City, through a contemporary reframing of Cleeves’ historic legacy as a productive, industrious, and resourceful site that capitalises on its riverside location, its industrial history and its forward-thinking culture.

Located close to the city centre, the vision is for the site is to be a sustainable, healthy and vibrant neighbourhood, well connected and supporting a strong local economy through the creation of employment and new local attractions that encourage and facilitate new business investment.

Simon Carter, Partner, FCBStudios said,

“Honouring Cleeves’ history and memory, we aim to create an environment that springs from the essence of the existing buildings and their traditions, supports the local population and community activities and promotes health and well-being. Our vision is for a liveable and truly sustainable city quarter, and a destination for city-wide civic and cultural events.”

Karen McEvoy, Director, Bucholz McEvoy Architects said,

“We imagine the Cleeves Riverside Quarter as a project that can transform the Cleeves site once again into a significant place in Limerick City, a place that in responding to the major challenges of our times, can offer exemplary climate responsive environments to support sustainable practices in living, working, and community building, while reinforcing and enhancing the unique characteristics of its setting in a vibrant public realm.”

The site has been in industrial use since the construction of a flaxmill in the mid-nineteenth century. The Cleeves Condensed milk factory, for which the area is named, moved into the building in 1883, developing the area for milk processing and worker accommodation. The 4 storey stone flaxmill and its chimney structure dominate the skyline on the northern banks of the River Shannon.

In the current climate emergency, it is imperative that the development be as efficient as possible. The retention and reuse of the historic buildings gives them a new life and reduces the materials and associated emissions required. New build will aim for net carbon zero emissions focussing on natural, low embodied carbon materials where possible and reducing the quantity of higher carbon materials. Homes will be designed to achieve beyond NZEB levels of in-use energy performance, following a fabric first approach. The buildings across the site will lead by example to create a sustainable development and an engaged community.

Through a mix of uses, including tourism, residential use, incubation/innovation space and commercial office use, the city hopes to bring 1500 jobs to the area.

Limerick Twenty Thirty Chairman Conn Murray said,

“The Cleeves Riverside Quarter is going to be another huge contributor to the transformation of the city centre over the coming decade.  The site offers huge opportunity for a high-quality mixed-use development of real scale and significance.  Between this and all the other investments underway or about to start in Limerick, we are going to see the city transform before our eyes over the coming years.”

FCBStudios and Bucholz McEvoy Architects are leading a design team that includes Arup and Mitchells (Landscape).