Temple Bar & Cork Historic Centre Area Plan

Heritage-Led Urban Regeneration Projects

In the 1990s, Southgate Associates acted as conservation consultants on two of the largest heritage-led urban regeneration programmes ever run by the Irish State, which attempted to transform two areas of very significant historical importance. The first of these action plans took place in Dublin’s Temple Bar, while the second was carried out in Cork City’s old historic centre and was known as the Cork Historic Centre Action Plan.

Temple Bar was a state-led initiative, while the Cork Centre Action Plan was led by the local authority. Both programmes utilised a heritage-led approach to urban regeneration, but they utilised quite different models of approaching similar issues. In Dublin, Southgate Associates was particularly charged with working with the state development agency, Temple Bar Properties, on the conservation works to multiple 18th century properties lying on historic streetscapes. These properties had been largely compulsorily purchased by the State.

In Cork, by contrast, Southgate Associates worked on behalf of the local authority with building owners and would-be-developers, to try to lead a best-practice programme of conservation works. An emphasis was laid on providing leadership and vision for what was possible through carrying out authority-led demonstration projects, funded through European Structural Funds, which would show building owners and developers the potential offered by adopting a conservation approach to rejuvenating what had become a highly run-down area.

In both locations, Southgate Associates brought conservation engineering solutions to multiple vulnerable 18th century structures, houses in terraces which were at risk of collapse during building works.

Temple Bar & Cork Historic Centre Area Plan

25 Eustace Street, Temple Bar

Conserved for Temple Bar Properties, subsequently sold to the Irish Landmark Trust who rent out the house to self-catering visitors. Images courtesy of the Irish Landmark Trust (

Temple Bar & Cork Historic Centre Area Plan

St. Peter’s Vision Centre, Cork City

This project was made the Silver Restoration Medal Winner in the Irish Architecture Awards. The Award was made to the Architects Department of Cork City Council, our client on this project, for which Southgate Associates were the conservation engineers.

Temple Bar & Cork Historic Centre Area Plan

Fenns Quay, Cork City

Conservation Consultancy to Cork City Council on Urban Regeneration Demonstration Project, in association with Jack Coughlan Architects and Horgan Lynch Engineers. Project won the Silver Medal for Conservation in the Irish Architecture Awards in 2005 and the Federation of Town Planning Institute’s Silver Jubilee Award.

Temple Bar & Cork Historic Centre Area Plan

3/4 Fownes Street, Temple Bar

Dangerous Structures Stabilised and Conserved by Southgate Associates for private clients

Key project staff

Karen Lysaght

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