Phoenix Park Gates and Piers

Phoenix Park Gates and Piers

About This Project

The Phoenix Park in Dublin is the largest enclosed public park in any capital city in Europe and is home to the Zoological Gardens, Áras an Uachtaráin, and the Victorian flower gardens. In preparation for the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland and his Papal Mass in the Park on 26th August 2018, it was decided as a health and safety precaution that the entrance gates to the park would be removed. Temporarily removing the gates would ensure an easier and safer flow of people entering and leaving the park, and would accommodate for over 100,000 expected visitors from across Ireland and abroad attending the Mass. The Office of Public Works (OPW) decided to take this opportunity to restore and conserve the wrought and cast-iron gates which date from the early 19th century to the early 20th century, many designed by Decilmus Burton.
As part of the restoration project, FKP Architects required a detailed digital documentation of 8 vehicle park gates and the piers that surround the gates, so they selected the geospatial measurement services provided by the team at Murphy Surveys. FKP Architects have a long-standing relationship with Murphy Surveys and have a history of successful projects together.
The iron gates feature detailed geometric designs and the surrounding piers were topped with a number of decorative features including spherical finials and brass lamps. After consultation with the client, it was decided the best method to digitally capture the gates was using high definition 3D laser scanning technology. This fast and non-intrusive method of data capture, would provide the architects with highly accurate, point cloud datasets that could be referred to during the restoration and conservation works, as well as during the removal and re-positioning of the gates.
We used the Z&F Imager 5010X laser scanner because it provides best in class measurement accuracy while including an onboard high dynamic range (HDR) camera to enable the colouring of the point cloud datasets with rich photographic information.
We supplied the client with 2D drawings and a 360 degree digital panoramic TruView of the gates. The online TruView platform allows the client to access the data quickly in a secure cloud based environment in order to take measurements and make annotations as required.
The project was completed on time and to budget allowing for the removal of the gates to run as scheduled before the Papal visit.

Client testimonial

FKP found the images and drawings produced of very high quality, accurate and useful for purpose. They were produced in the agreed short time span essential for the timely planning of the works. In our view the microscale of metal and stone in this project demanded the laser technology. It proved well suited to our requirements and is enabling ongoing best practice conservation of this unique assembly of Irish craftsmanship almost all of a single era and by a single designer, Decimus Burton, and the McLoughlin Ironworks of Dublin. The survey is an essential record for the OPW and the essential parts of the National Monument that is the Phoenix Park.

Ann Cuffe Fitzgerald, Conservation Architect, FKP Architects


Fitzgerald, Kavanagh and Partners (FKP) Architects is a Dublin-based firm with special expertise in sustainability and conservation.



Survey Type

3D High Definition Survey
Photographic Survey


Z&F Laser Scanner


Laser Scanning & BIM
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