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All the RRR’s…

ROCHESTER RIVERSIDE

RESEARCH – REGENERATION – RECLAMATION – RECYCLE – REMINISCENCE – REVEAL – REPLACE – RESONATE

RE-USE

The Rochester Riverside development aims to deliver 489 homes in Phases 1, 2 & 3. The first show homes are scheduled to be ready by September 2018. I have been researching and developing ideas to embed some of the social & industrial legacy from this site into the new build homes and apartments & not forgetting a new community which is being delivered. The site has a treasure trove of layered history to uncover fed by its unique position between Rochester and  River Medway.

Intertidal Salt Marsh

Tithe Lands

St Nicholas Parish Rochester 

Livestock Grazing

Clay & Mud

Market Gardens

Oyster Fishery

Gas Works

Ship & Barge Building

Iron Foundry

Coal Factors

Coal Depot

Railway Goods Yard

Scrap Metal Merchants

Wharfs

Cranes

Locomotives

Aggregates

Cement

By 2006 almost all the site had been cleared for re-development.

I have to find a way to be creative with the public art budget and to produce high quality, robust interventions, capable of withstanding the wear and tear of a contemporary urban space. My approach to this project has been to work with a series of 2.4m high brick walls, which form the entrances to parking courts on the Central Streets of Phase 1 & 2. I am also embedding work into the threshold entrances of six apartment blocks and numerous private houses throughout the site. Materials being investigated at this stage include granite, cast concrete, cast iron, architectural ceramic & brick. The concept drawings shown below are all subject to change, revision, omission – all the usual ups and downs of project development.

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for brick walls. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for brick walls. Image: Christopher Tipping

These early concept drawings explore the various combinations of narrative elements which could be developed further. They are rather overstuffed with ideas at this stage – far too many to deliver – but are beginning to explore the legacy of the site via stories created by combining strands of research. Visiting menageries share space with Iron Foundry production and mud and clay trades carried out on the site. The elephant would be sandblasted into the brick surface, whilst adjacent panels of cast iron with relief detail and glazed brick units and polished granite are embedded into the brick structure.

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for brick walls. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside. Artist Concept. Cast Iron Units to footpaths. Artwork Draft Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Cast Iron proposals are being developed in collaboration with Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax.

Rochester Riverside. Artist Concept. Cast Iron Unit to brick walls. Artwork Draft Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside. Artist Concept. Draft cast iron units to brick walls and paving. Artwork Drafts Only Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite paving units with inset text. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite paving units with inset text. Image: Christopher Tipping

The proposals for granite paving units with inset granite text are being explored in collaboration with Hardscape. 

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for architectural ceramic units with low relief text & pattern. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Architectural Ceramic proposals are being developed in collaboration with Darwen Terracotta & Faience

 

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite & cast iron paving units with low relief text & pattern. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite & cast iron paving units with low relief text & pattern. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke balcony balustrade detail with pattern inspired by the Gas Works. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke balcony balustrade detail with pattern inspired by the Gas Works. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke Front Door & Garage Doors treatment. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke Front Door & Garage Doors treatment. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rogallo Place, Horsted Park, Rochester, Kent

Since August 2017 I have been working on a project for Optivo , commissioned by  Francis Knight Public Art Consultants  

“Rogallo Place is an extra care scheme with 63 apartments available for rent or shared ownership. FrancisKnight has commissioned artist Christopher Tipping with a brief to create art work that aids a sense of arrival to the buildings entrance. Designs are currently in production for vinyl artwork and a sculptural granite seat that reflect the historic rural and agricultural lands and the relationship with Rochester Airport that was built upon the local farmland. The Rogallo Wing is also credited which was a precursor to the modern hang glider and paraglider”. Francis Knight

Draft artwork for glazing vinyls. Rogallo Place, Horsted, Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft artwork for glazing vinyls. Rogallo Place, Horsted, Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

Rogallo Place, Horsted Park, Rochester. Site Visit August 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rogallo Place, Horsted Park, Rochester. Site Visit with Francis Knight, August 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rogallo Place will provide 63 apartments – a new community will grow together here – part of the much larger new community of Horsted Park.

I am proposing that this artwork will be digitally printed on optically clear vinyl and applied to the glazing screens of the Entrance and Reception areas of the building.

I am creating abstract motifs inspired by various plans for ‘flexible wings’ such as Delta shaped airfoils and Ram-air types to create assemblies and group formations, which are intercut and mixed with drawings of plants and landscape. At a small-scale these new formations may themselves resemble flowers and plants within an abstract landscape. The groups are also suggestive of people and individuals coming together to form new associations and a new community. This approach is further inspired by aerial views of the locale taken from historic & contemporary aerial mapping as well as information gathered from local historic sources to create abstract motifs suggestive of clouds and patterns of updraft and airflow experienced by fliers, as well as textures and colours of field patterns and woods.

THE OS Map of 1869 shows Horsted Farm, with its Pond, Orchard & Chalk Pit surrounded by woods within a rural, agricultural landscape. Historic rural and agricultural lands with orchards, gardens and allotments surrounded by woods, which have been cultivated and managed for hundreds of years, interspersed with small communities working together. ‘The Horsted Valley is a wonderful green resource. It is one of the Medway Towns hidden gems, providing a vital green buffer between the surrounding urban areas and an important area for recreation and relaxation, and yet also providing a vital refuge and home for a wide variety of plants and animals’. Friends of Horsted Valley 

Churchland Wood

Great Chatham Grove

Newland Wood

Crooked Oak Wood

Newland Shaw

Warren Wood

East Cookham Wood

Great Delce Wood

Little Delce Wood

Horsted Grove

Westfield Wood

Slippers Wood

Crowhill Shaw

Court Bushes

Monk Wood

Bridge Wood

Detail of the OS Map of 1869 showing Horsted Farm. Image: National Library of Scotland – Map Images

 


Fort Horsted is one of five Forts built to protect the eastern flank of Chatham and the Dockyard, with its inherent history of military order, regimentation, defence and protection to draw upon.

 

Construction works started on Fort Horsted in 1880 – one of five Forts protecting Chatham’s Eastern Flank and primarily its strategically important Dockyard. Ordered by the Royal Commission following its report of 1860, the Fort was constructed by convicts under the supervision of the Royal Engineers.


Darland

Twydall

Luton

Horsted

Bridgewoods

 

The Fort sits adjacent to the historic Horsted Farm and the new Horsted Park. Its starkly geometric form is striking in plan in the landscape.

Detail of the OS Map of 1955 showing Fort Horsted. Image: National Library of Scotland – Map Images

Draft artwork for glazing vinyls. Rogallo Place, Horsted, Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Airport was established in 1933 and built upon local farmland is the nearest industrial and business neighbour to Horsted Park. Its close proximity has been the inspiration for the street names throughout the site.

Rochester City Council compulsory purchased the land at Rochester Airfield in September 1933 from the landowner as the site for a municipal airport. One month later Short Brothers, who had started building aircraft in 1909 on the Isle of Sheppey, asked for permission to lease the land for test flying and thus began the privileged relationship between the local authority and the aviation industry.

In 1934-5 Short Brothers took over the Rochester Airport site when they moved some of their personnel from the existing seaplane works. Pobjoy Airmotors Ltd moved to Rochester at the same time to be closer to Short Brothers, to whom they were contracted for production of aircraft engines for the Short Scion. Financial difficulties led to a capital investment by Shorts in Pobjoy and the eventual assimilation of Pobjoy.

 

Rogallo Place itself has been named in response to this aviation history by taking its name from Francis Rogallo 1912 – 2009, an American aeronautical engineer inventor born in Sanger, California, U.S.; who is credited with the invention of the Rogallo Wing, or “flexible wing”, a precursor to the modern hang glider and paraglider. His patents were ranged over mechanical utility patents and ornamental design patents for wing controlsairfoils, target kite, flexible wing, and advanced configurations for flexible wing vehicles.

Francis Rogallo is still celebrated through aviation events, such as the Rogallo Kite Festival held annually at Nags Head Outer Banks North Carolina. His inventions started the sport of hang gliding and his designs have carried over into the stunt kites, power kites and hang gliders that are flown today. This event provides some very surreal and colourful images.

Draft artwork for glazing vinyls. Screens C & D – Rogallo Place, Horsted, Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft artwork for glazing vinyls. Screens C & D – Rogallo Place, Horsted, Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft artwork for glazing vinyls. Screens A & B – Rogallo Place, Horsted, Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft artwork for glazing vinyls. Screens A & B – Rogallo Place, Horsted, Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft artwork for glazing vinyls. Screens A & B – Rogallo Place, Horsted, Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

To compliment this interior work, I am also proposing an intervention in the landscape just outside the main entrance area.

A granite seat in several sections; a monolithic block of honed granite with large letters sandblasted into the vertical face of the seat spelling out ROGALLO PLACE. In plan, the shape suggests part of a delta wing – perhaps a nod to the Rogallo Place logo and the robust and enduring form of the nearby Fort Horsted.

Rogallo Place Drawing of Granite Bench by Hardscape. Image: Permission of Hardscape England.

Rogallo Place Drawing of Granite Bench by Hardscape. Image: Permission of Hardscape England.

Granite Benches Draft V2 Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

Granite Benches Draft V1 Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

Designs reproduced from the glazing vinyl artwork could also be sandblasted onto the honed granite surfaces, contextually and visually joining the two elements.

Granite for the bench is supplied and manufactured by Hardscape.