“FrancisKnight have been appointed to work with LDA DESIGN and Medway Council on the Chatham Placemaking Project and in particular producing a creative public realm strategy to enhance the proposals and to add a sense of place and purpose to the spaces.
At the heart of the Thames Gateway, only 30 miles from central London, Medway is the largest conurbation between the capital and continental Europe. A modern place with green spaces and a superb quality of life, close to breathtaking countryside, the area has a young and culturally diverse population.
Chatham is located at the heart of Medway, with a population of 264,900 people living in the urban area in 2013. The area is world famous for its historic naval dockyard, and has also been a strategic centre for trade”.
This is a short term consultancy for me, which focuses particularly on the pedestrian route between Chatham Railway Station and The Waterfront, Chatham, via Railway Street and Military Road. This route leads on towards the Historic Dockyard Chatham – which is the subject of a World Heritage Bid –
I had up till this point never been to Chatham! I know of Chatham via Dickens and Pepys – as well as having looked at the Historic Dockyards online ! I have passed through the Medway Townsmany times on the train between Ramsgate and London, which does not really help frame a complete & honest image of the town.
This is a small sample of the visual record I made of my first visit in response to the project brief –
As you leave the Station and turn left, this leads you, via Railway Street towards the Town Centre and The Waterfront – however this route is a difficult one to navigate – if you know the town, then various landmarks map this out for you, but for a visitor, the experience is confusing and not for the faint hearted. The first 100m of this route, the car is certainly King – much to the detriment (& risk) of the pedestrian!
This view looks down Railway Street towards the Town Centre with the red brick edifice of Mountbatten House dominating the centre view.