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Nun's Island Masterplan


Location Client Completion
Galway, Ireland The National University of Ireland Galway 2021

Project details

NUIG appointed BDP through a two-stage ideas-led national and international competition to prepare a masterplan for Nuns’ Island, Galway.

The Masterplan Study Area is located in the centre of Galway, west of the historic city centre and along the banks of the River Corrib as it descends from Lough Corrib to Galway Bay. Its importance as such a large piece of central Galway highlights the need for it to integrate well with neighbouring districts; the University located to the northwest, as well as to the city centre to the east.

The earliest recorded activity on Nuns’ Island relates to a petition in the mid-seventeenth century by Sister Mary Bonaventure, Abbess of the Poor Clares, to establish a monastery in 1649. Today, Nuns’ Island is densely developed with a wide variety of building types, including a church, a nineteenth century monastery, fine nineteenth century dwellings constructed by the mill owners and a modern school.

The masterplan establishes a vision and explores the collective development potential and opportunities the lands at Nuns’ Island holds not just for the University but for the city as a whole. Throughout the period in developing the plan, an extensive consultation process has taken place with a wide variety of stakeholders, residents, and members of the wider community, which informed the masterplan.

The Nuns’ Island masterplan re-establishes the area as a unique destination and a vibrant community within Galway, where culture, arts, and innovation can thrive. As a former industrial area, the district will bring new life to disused buildings, make new connections between the University and the City Centre, and optimise the potential of this underutilised city centre space bringing wider benefits to the city.

Integrated services

architecture, landscape architecture, urban design