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Central Chelmsford – York Stone steps in progress

Works are well underway by the Ashfield Group to manufacture and supply the artwork step details to the project. The double height steps in York Stone are being inset with a darker granite text detail set into the face of the riser, which is part of the art interpretation on site. These double height steps will also have a slatted timber top, which creates ad hoc seating within the main sequence of steps at the southern end of the site. The timber will also carry cnc routed text.

Individual water jet cut granite letters are inset into York Stone, which has had the word already cut by water jet as a negative space. Image by Ashfield Group

Individual water jet cut granite letters are inset into York Stone, which has had the word already cut by water jet as a negative space. Image by Ashfield Group

The letters are cut from granite tiles. Image by Ashfield Group

The letters are cut from granite tiles. Image by Ashfield Group

Waterjet Cutting the stone (4)

Image by Ashfield Group

Image by Ashfield Group

Image by Ashfield Group

Image by Ashfield Group

Image by Ashfield Group

Image by Ashfield Group

Image by Ashfield Group

Image by Ashfield Group

The finished step block with negative text space awaiting granite letters to be inset. Image by Ashfield Group

Finished ! Image by Ashfield Group

Finished ! Image by Ashfield Group

 

Central Chelmsford

Central Chelmsford Site Visit – Monday 2nd September 2014

Anne Knight of Chelmsford

Anne Knight of Chelmsford – Detail: ‘Anne’, sandblasted text motif in Royal Green granite by Hardscape

Client: Genesis Housing Association – Main Contractor: Denne – Project Managers: Bidwells – Architects: PTE architects – Landscape Architects: Area Landscape Architects – Arts Consultant: Frances Lord

507 new homes as well as retail and offices will make up the new development. The project is delivering a blueprint for a new community in Chelmsford.

The site has a number of key buildings once part of Anglia Ruskin University, which are being partly or wholly retained and refurbished. These are the Frederick Chancellor Building of 1905 and the Law Building of 1931.

One of the most historic & resonant as well as the earliest buildings on the site is the Grade II listed Anne Knight building, a former Friends Meeting House from 1824. Named after one of Chelmsford’s most distinguished women, Anne Knight 1786 – 1862.

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Anne Knight was a Quaker and a stalwart Anti Abolitionist, one of very few women to attend the World Anti Slavery Convention meeting held in London in 1840. She would have attended this Quaker Meeting House, now named after her. This is the key anchor building on site.

Anne Knight Building

The refurbished Anne Knight Building with new public realm

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The view of The Gate with its blue black brick curved elevation. This area is intended as a public open space, extending the forecourt and public realm of Chelmsford Station. The ground floor elevations are glazed and the interiors will be used as retail and food outlets.

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Looking South, through the aperture into The Place. The elevation of The Gate is dynamic & brooding. The crisp detailing is pared down. A facade of cantilevered black balconies appear to jut out from deep into the interior of the building from recessed windows.

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Looking south towards Central Park through The Place. The main pedestrian route will be on the left of this image, with the remaining site will be landscaped as a formal courtyard garden for residents and visitors alike

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The view north, towards  the Station from within The Place

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These are both samples of text to be used in the interpretive artwork which is embedded throughout the site. The sample on the left is York Stone with inset water jet cut grey granite, by Ashfield Ltd. Inset text such as this is used for step risers at the south of the site. The sandblasted sample on the right is part of a Royal Green granite paving supplied by Hardscape , called The Stream which runs continuously through the site north to south. Both interventions are based on contextual and site specific research I undertook.

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‘1479 plates’, Combe Down Stone Mines 2010

In December 2008 I was commissioned, along with a number of other artists, to respond to the Combe Down Stone Mines Stabilisation Project, which was nearing completion after a 10 year engineering led programme.

'1479 plates' at The Octagon, Bath.

‘1479 plates’ at The Octagon, Bath.    Image: Kevin Fern

Exterior of The Octagon, Bath

Exterior of The Octagon, Bath

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'1479 plates' at The Octagon, Bath. November 2009

‘1479 plates’ at The Octagon, Bath. November 2009

One of 788 Bone China plates produced for the installation.

One of 788 Bone China plates produced for the installation.

'1479 plates', The Octagon, Bath. Private View.

‘1479 plates’, The Octagon, Bath. Private View.   Image by ZED.

The Combe Down Stone Mines Project was a major project by Bath & North East Somerset Council to stabilise abandoned limestone mine workings in Combe Down and preserve the Health & Safety of the area. The aim of the Project was to remove the current threat to life and property of those living, working in and travelling through the Combe Down area. Collapse of the old mines, which in some instances, lay just metres beneath the surface, was a real possibility. In doing this, the Project ensured that the internationally recognised heritage, wildlife and environmental properties of the area were conserved for future generations.

The Combe Down Stone Mines Stabilisation Project was finally completed in 2010, with 25 hectares of very shallow limestone mines flooded with approximately 600,000 cubic metres of foamed concrete, the largest project of its kind in the world. Over the preceding 200 years some 700 houses had been built over the mines from which the stone was extracted to build Georgian Bath.

The project site of Combe Down, a village on the outskirts of Bath, falls within the World Heritage Site of Bath.

 

The installation work ‘1479 plates’, was exhibited at The Octagon, an 18th Century Chapel in Bath,  and featured a map of 788 bone china dinner plates , which explores the relationship between present day engineering and mining technology, stone mines heritage, natural history, and two 18th century entrepreneurs Ralph Allen and Josiah Wedgwood. The work was created in collaboration with ‘Autonomatic’ – 3D Digital Research Cluster at University College Falmouth. The plates were displayed on a curving monolithic wall, redolent of the architectural terraces in Bath, built with the stone from the mines. The exhibition was constructed and managed by REM, Richmond Event Management.

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A collection of plates from the 788 which made up the installation.

A collection of plates from the 788 which made up the installation.  Image: Portia Wilson

691 households affected by the stabilisation works were gifted a ceramic plate – one small part of the map – representing not only the individual household but the mining underworld beneath it. Following their display at The Octagon, the original 788 dinner plates were donated to form a large scale permanent installation in Combe Down village at some point in the future.

The arts project team was managed and led by Consultants Frances Lord and Steve Geliot.

Art Consultants: Frances Lord and Steve Geliot

‘1479 plates’ budget: £54,000.00

 Client:Bath & North East Somerset Council funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, formerly English Herirage. https://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/combe-down-stone-mines

Agencies: Project Managers: Provelio. Main Contractors: Hydrock & Scott Wilson. Specialist Consultants: Oxford Archaeology, ‘Autonomatic’ & Digital Ceramics.