Our class visited the new Millennium Plaza on the quay in Waterford. Mr. Seán McLoughlin, an architect who worked on the project, met us. He explained to us how the plaza was built and where the inspiration for the design came from.

The plaza resembles a Viking ship. At one end of the plaza is a sculpture that looks like the bow of a Viking ship. The sculpture represents Aoife and Strongbow who were married at the nearby Reginald's Tower. The sculpture was constructed of larch wood in Denmark. It rotates twice a day with the tide. On top of the sculpture is a web camera.

At the opposite end of the plaza is a raised platform or "deck". A sail like canopy covers the platform and "shields" surround it. This space can be used for concerts. If it's a small crowd they can sit on the benches in front of the "shields" but if it's a large crowd the band can face the other way and the people can sit on the main deck.

Between the canopy and the sculpture are two long metal arms that remind you of the sides of a Viking boat. Along by the river is a boardwalk where the railing looks like the rail of the Titanic. The main deck is made of timber and the seats can be turned if necessary.

When they were building the plaza they found old flag stones that they reused in the walkway. At night the lighting is arranged to light up the ship space.

Skateboarders are damaging the timber and the concrete edges on the plaza. Waterford Corporation has put in metal studs to discourage skateboarders but it's not really working. They plan to build a special skating park for the boarders.

We liked the Millennium Plaza; it's a different kind of park. Tourists and local people will enjoy it. It has lots of space and is a fun place to play.

Ms. O'Connell's Fifth Class,
St. Mary's National School,
Ballygunner,
Waterford.