Nenagh Town Park is located on a bend in the Nenagh River, with a dry riverbed bounding the south of the site along the rail-line, which takes overflow water during flood events. The Park is accessed by a bridge over the Nenagh River, which endows the park with a magical sense of arrival on an island. Nenagh Town Council decided to upgrade the existing municipal swimming pool and gym, and provide for an urban park on the site where the pool was located. Located along the main approach road to Nenagh, the wooded island site has an enchanting wildness, imbued by a sense of adventure.

The sense of mystery and discovery informed our design, laying ‘tracks’ where park users can pick up speed and traverse the landscape at meadow, water-course and tree-top height, but with plenty of ‘stations’ to pause at for social engagement, performance, play and exercise.

As a rail engineer would design a track, the sequence of movement through the urban park has been choreographed to allow interesting vistas, panoramas and events to unfold. ‘Stations’ are located along the ‘Rail-Line’ pathways, social spaces designed for specific situations; sun-lawns and squares to act as gathering areas or host events; a sun-lawn with views across the landscape; a natural playground; wildflower meadows and fruiting hedges for foraging; fishing piers for anglers; a skate-park for teenagers and perimeter trim trails and out-door fitness equipment.

Large sculptural pieces of wooden play equipment such as a cable-way, a stainless steel slide and a wooden train have been located along the pathways to encourage everyone using the park to play. An existing mound on the site was re-profiled as a ‘Motte & Bailey’, where children and adults can walk up a series of gentle grassed south-facing slopes to a Corten Fort to enjoy the wonderful views south over the landscape and west to the C13th Castle in Nenagh.