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The 12th lock masterplan takes in a section of the grand canal between the new residential areas of Clonburris and Adamstown and the Grange Castle Business Park. The area contains over a dozen derelict buildings of different scales and character in varied states of disrepair. The challenge of the brief was to identify proposed land uses to bring these structures back to life, populating the 12th lock area with active uses and provide safe and joyful public spaces harnessing the area’s natural beauty.

On the north bank west of the lock are stone and concrete Flour mill buildings from the 19th and early 20th century respectively. Beneath the buildings is the mill run which historically would have powered the mills in what was once known as the breadbasket of Dublin. A few metres west of the mills is the lock keeper’s cottage from the same era. Since then, several insensitive developments were built, a domestic 2 storey house built onto the side of the stone mill, a protected structure, and a series of industrial buildings with asbestos sheeting at the rear of the stone mill. More recently larger green sheds with insulated corrugated metal cladding were added to the north of the site separating the Lucan Sarsfields GAA club from the R120. To the southeast of the site there is an abandoned farmyard which was acquired by SDCC squeezed between the booming Grange Castle Business Park and the canal. There are a total of 14 structures within the masterplan area, none of which are in use.

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The project prioritizes the adaptive reuse of existing derelict structures rather than demolition and construction of new buildings. This reduces waste and embedded carbon, conserves resources, preserves cultural heritage and reduces urban sprawl with associated environmental and social impacts. Only two of the buildings are proposed to be removed due to Health and Safety concerns.

The masterplan also gives the opportunity to incorporate accessible and inclusive spaces by adapting existing buildings and applying current design standards. Landscaped areas were thought about from an access point of view, combining stepped and ramped access routes, incorporating lifts where possible in the feasibility studies of the various buildings and considering proximity of disabled parking spaces.

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