An Portach Ciúin
STUDIO / DESIGNER
Jonathan Barr & Lisa Dooley
Jonathan Barr (Designer)
Lisa Dooley (Designer)
Colman Dooley (Signage)
Design Challenge and Design Ideas
An Portach Ciúin is a natural sensory garden located within Lough Boora Discovery Park in County Offaly. Translating to ‘The Quiet Bog,’ An Portach Ciúin was designed to be an inclusive sanctuary, accessible to all. Visitors are encouraged to inhale deeply upon entry, allowing their daily stresses to dissipate as they reconnect with nature.
The task at hand involved establishing an identity and signage system that seamlessly blends with the landscape of this peaceful place. The way-finding system needed to enhance the visitor experience, all the while paying homage to the industrial heritage of the bogland and showing due respect to the environment.
How the brief was fulfilled
The logo was inspired by a 20 foot diameter industrial wheel, that was once used in the peat harvesting process. To create the logo mark, the negative spaces within the wheel shape were filled with an array of natural textures found at the bog, such as birch bark, butterfly wing, leaf, feather, etc. This visually symbolises looking through the past into a future where our connection to nature is cherished.
The signage was consciously designed to utilise what would otherwise be obsolete objects left over from the bog’s industrial past. The curated artefacts include bog train tracks and sleepers that were reconfigured and lasercut to produce pointer signs, and a large circular turntable, which was used to house a welcome/info sign. This repurposed, rusted steel wayfinding system blends sympathetically into the landscape, honouring both the industrial heritage and a sustainability-focused future.