Margate Steps – A look back in time

The last decade has seen Margate’s cultural landscape flourish with the dual success of Turner Contemporary and a resurgent Dreamland to book-end the seafront panorama. Successful regeneration by Thanet Council has also brought significant and tangible changes to the Old Town. One of the most significant outcomes delivered by the Council without fanfare or drama however, has been the Margate Flood & Coastal Protection Scheme – also known more fondly as Margate Steps. A scheme funded by the Environment Agency to the tune of £6million pounds and brought in on time and under budget …and somewhat under the radar. This example of coastal civil engineering encompassed not only the Steps, but the Harbour Arm and Sea Wall along Marine Drive. This elegant and functional concrete stepped revetment structure has also brought a much needed and highly activated public realm and pedestrian space to the Town.

Throughout its history, a major catalyst for change and development in Margate had been the destructive force of storms and storm surges. These pages are taken from the Contextual Research Document, which I delivered in collaboration with the project team.

MARGATE STEPS CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH DOCUMENT 1

Margate Flood & Coastal Protection Scheme – Contextual Research Text Image: Christopher Tipping

Margate Flood & Coastal Protection Scheme – Contextual Research Text Image: Christopher Tipping

Margate Flood & Coastal Protection Scheme – Contextual Research Text Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Margate Flood & Coastal Protection Scheme – Towards Turner Contemporary May 2013. Image: Christopher Tipping

I was commissioned as project artist on the scheme by Thanet District Council & the Environment Agency in December 2010. My role was to uncover and present  interpretive & contextual information & develop concepts with which to influence the design process & inform the structure & detailing of this major sea defence works. The work has now been completed and the project officially opened in May 2013.

Margate Flood & Coastal Protection Scheme – lunch al fresco May 2013. Image: Christopher Tipping

Client: TDC & Margate Renewal Partnership. Engineers: East Kent Engineering PracticeLandscape Architects and Urban Designers: Jacobs. Contractor: BreheneySpecialist Concrete Pre Cast: CCP Cornish Concrete Products.

Being part of an integrated design team from an early point was critical in enabling the contextual work, via a contribution to the detailed DESIGN & ACCESS STATEMENT , to influence the physical form of the structure, within its constraints as a sea defence work.

Margate Flood & Coastal Protection Scheme – evening light March 2013. Image: Christopher Tipping

The public realm and amenity space which the project afforded Margate’s sea front has been a tremendous addition to an enlivened and highly activated sea front promenade which has Turner Contemporary and the Harbour Arm at one end & Margate Station & Dreamland at the other.

Margate Flood & Coastal Protection Scheme – The New King’s Stairs May 2013. Image: Christopher Tipping

Chatham Placemaking Project – PROPOSALS

I haven’t updated this post for some time – actually since April 2017!  Head down and just getting on with it …time flies. OK – I’ll now try to sum up what’s happened in the interim.

Following on from the initial research period, consultation & creative engagement phases of the project, a series of Creative Public Realm proposals were submitted for review. This work originated and was inspired by the positive & creative collaboration with our supporting artists in residence, Rob Young – Writer, Simon Williams – Filmmaker and Xtina Lamb – Printmaker.   These collaborations proved to be highly creative as well as bringing a refreshing camaraderie and friendship to the work.

The proposals are presented here in the order in which the various sites are encountered along the route from Chatham Station down Railway Street to Military Road and the Waterfront. This is a visual account of how ideas developed and adopted into the scheme.

Chatham Station, although at the head of our scheme, will be the last Phase to be delivered on the ground & I will report on this work later in a separate post.

The sites where our work and interventions has been focussed are:

 

NEW CUT & NEW ROAD VIADUCT

ST JOHN’S SQUARE

LOWER RAILWAY STREET

MILITARY SQUARE 

MILITARY ROAD

Chatham Placemaking Project. Route & Plan of Creative Public Realm. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Red Line indicates our project route & is titled the ‘Chatham Line’, after the Chatham Lines, the nearby defensive fortifications.  The lines follow the historic granite kerb line & will be replaced in relevant sections by bespoke wide

granite kerbs and special transition granite units often with sandblasted or inset granite text. Text is based upon the surrounding local historic legacy & community engagement work & narrative developed by our writer in residence, Rob Young.

AREA 2 – NEW CUT 

New Cut – Plan of Creative Public Realm. Image: Christopher Tipping

New Cut – Sketches & Draft Plan of Creative Public Realm. Image: Christopher Tipping

New Cut – Sketches & draft plan of bespoke granite kerb units. Creative Public Realm. Image: Christopher Tipping

New Cut – Sketches & draft plan of bespoke granite kerb units. Creative Public Realm. Image: Christopher Tipping

New Cut – Sketches & draft plan of bespoke granite & timber seating. Creative Public Realm. Image: Christopher Tipping

New Cut – Sketches & draft plan of bespoke granite kerb units. Creative Public Realm. Image: Christopher Tipping

New Cut – New Road Viaduct – Draft proposals for bespoke enamel panels below the balustrade, welcoming you to Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

As with most projects, not all ideas and proposals succeed.Budget limitations, critical rigour and often the subjective nature of the collaborative creative process all bring issues to bear in deciding what is destined to be built on site and what is left in the studio !

 

New Cut – New Road Viaduct – Draft proposals for bespoke enamel panels below the balustrade, welcoming you to Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

New Cut & New Road Viaduct – Draft proposals for bespoke lighting scheme welcoming you to Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

New Cut & New Road Viaduct – Draft proposals for bespoke enamel panels under the bridge, welcoming you to Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

St John’s Square – Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

St John’s Square – Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

St John’s Square – Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

The approach to the materiality and scale of St John’s Square & elsewhere along our route, was influenced by the architectural & industrial heritage of the Historic Chatham Dockyard.

St John’s Square – Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

St John’s Square – Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

St John’s Square – Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

This monolithic detail seen above was titled ‘The Submarine’, inspired by HMS OCELOT on display at Chatham Historic Dockyard . This sculptural form was to act as a dividing feature separating two flights of steps at different levels.

I didn’t make it through the final evaluation process…

HMS OCELOT, Chatham Historic Dockyard. Image: Christopher Tipping

HMS OCELOT, Chatham Historic Dockyard. Image: Christopher Tipping

St John’s Square – Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping & Hardscape

St John’s Square – Draft proposals for bespoke yellow enamel cast iron bollards & landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

St John’s Square – Research Image of Ropery Artefacts. Draft proposals for bespoke yellow enamel cast iron bollards & landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

LOWER RAILWAY STREET & MILITARY SQUARE

Lower Railway Street & Military Square. Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

Lower Railway Street & Military Square. Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

Lower Railway Street & Military Square. Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

Lower Railway Street & Military Square. Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

Lower Railway Street & Military Square. Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square is a major pedestrian intersection in Chatham, at the crossroads between Railway Street, Military Road and the High Street.

Lower Railway Street & Military Square. Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

Lower Railway Street & Military Square. Draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

THE CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE 

Military Square draft proposals for bespoke landscape interventions. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

Animal Thanet – Pegwell Safari

In 2011, I took a series of Animal Thanet images entitled Pegwell Safari – down on the abandoned concrete apron of the former Pegwell Bay Hoverport at Pegwell Bay, Thanet. These images formed part of a postal art project.

Some of the images show the cooling towers & chimney of the former Richborough Power Station, which were demolished by explosives at 09.07am on 11th March 2012.

These images consider & reflect wider concerns for the  natural world, particularly focussed on the lives of its wild animals, conservation, loss of habitat, diminishing numbers, poaching, extinction and callous exploitation, which holds a mirror to our humanity. We may soon only have plastic versions of our wild neighbours to play with. The last decade has witnessed the slow & horrible realisation that our negative impact on the planet and particularly our plastic pollution of almost every environment, is a catastrophe for the world around us. 

Hippopotamus amphibious Pegwell Bay, Thanet with Richborough Cooling Towers in the background. Image: Christopher Tipping

Hippo Postcard Project – Hippopotamus amphibious Pegwell Bay, Thanet with Richborough Cooling Towers in the background. Image: Christopher Tipping

Plains Zebra, Equus zebra Pegwell Bay, Thanet. Image: Christopher Tipping

Plains Zebra, Equus zebra Pegwell Bay, Thanet. Image: Christopher Tipping

Buffalo, Syncerus caffer, Pegwell Bay, Thanet. Image: Christopher Tipping

Buffalo, Syncerus caffer, Pegwell Bay, Thanet. Image: Christopher Tipping

Nile Crocodile. Crocodylus niloticus, Pegwell Bay, Thanet. Image: Christopher Tipping

Plains Zebra, Equus zebra Pegwell Bay, Thanet. Image: Christopher Tipping

Sperm Whale, Physter macrocephalus, Pegwell Bay, Thanet. Image: Christopher Tipping

In March 2011 a Sperm Whale beached and died at Pegwell Bay. I remember running along the beach at low tide all the way from Ramsgate to see it. A whale necropsy was carried out the following day, which was astonishing to see.

Sperm Whale beached at Pegwell Bay March 2011 Image: Christopher Tipping

Sperm Whale beached at Pegwell Bay March 2011 Image: Christopher Tipping

Necropsy of Sperm Whale beached at Pegwell Bay March 2011 Image: Christopher Tipping

Necropsy of Sperm Whale beached at Pegwell Bay March 2011 Image: Christopher Tipping

Other images were taken earlier in April 2008, of plastic animals from my collection at various sites in Ramsgate and along Ramsgate Main Sands and the Thanet Coast –

Red Deer Stag, Cervus elaphus, Ramsgate Gate Post. Image: Christopher Tipping 2008

Northern Elephant Seal, Mirounga angustirostris, Ramsgate Main Sands. Image: Christopher Tipping 2008

Trans Europa Cross Channel Ferries were still running out from Ramsgate to Ostend at this time –

Okapi: Okapia johnstoni. Ramsgate Sands Eastern Undercliffe, Ramsgate. Image: Christopher Tipping 2008

Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas, Ramsgate Main Sands, Thanet. Image: Christopher Tipping 2008

Crocodiles & Hippopotamus sharing a rockpool. Eastern Undercliffe, Ramsgate. Image: Christopher Tipping 2008

Beach Elephants: Elephas maximus indicus & Loxodonta africana, Ramsgate Main Sands. Image: Christopher Tipping 2008

Giraffe: Giraffa camelopardalis on Ramsgate Main Sands. Image: Christopher Tipping 2008

 

 

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.

Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton

Kingsbridge Lane in Southampton is a historically important and longstanding pedestrian-only route with no vehicular access. This makes the site significant to Southampton. It is a long surviving link to the western route in and out of Southampton along the coastal strand, which formed the northern shore of the River Test Estuary until the early 20th Century. The footpath runs along a narrow strip of land between the existing railway tunnel and the historic and long abandoned tunnel of the Southampton to Salisbury Canal, which ran along what is now Blechynden Terrace, linking Central Station to the Guildhall Square & Cultural Quarter. My role within this project was to develop a contextual response to the site, which would, hopefully, influence the landscape design and regenerative design process in collaboration Simon Taylor of  Balfour Beatty Living Places , Southampton City Council and Hardscape.

Contextual drafts – ‘BBC SOUTH has broadcast from this site since 1991 & was built on the grounds of the old Edward VI Grammar School’. Image: Christopher Tipping

Basalt Blocks with inset granite text set out during manufacture at Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Basalt Blocks awaiting sandblasting with text during manufacture at Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Basalt Blocks during sandblasting with text. Manufactured by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Basalt Blocks with inset granite text set out during manufacture at Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Granite benches & retaining walls, Kingsbridge Lane, January 2018 during regeneration works on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Granite benches, retaining walls and steps – Kingsbridge Lane, January 2018 during regeneration works on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Artwork draft for granite benches and retaining walls. Image: Christopher Tipping

Artwork draft for granite benches, steps and retaining walls. Image: Christopher Tipping

Granite benches & retaining walls, Kingsbridge Lane, January 2018 during regeneration works on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Granite benches & retaining walls, Kingsbridge Lane, January 2018 during regeneration works on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Final Text setting for Basalt Strips. Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton. Image: Christopher Tipping

The full text, which formed the original proposals, can be read here: FULL TEXT DRAFT 15-11-16

Granite benches, retaining walls & Black Basalt slabs with inset and sandblasted contextual text – Kingsbridge Lane, January 2018 during regeneration works on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Black Basalt strips with inset and sandblasted contextual text, cross the footpath at intervals – Kingsbridge Lane, January 2018 during regeneration works on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

The footpath is busy, particularly at peak travel times, but is tired, with aged materials and and unkept vibe, even more striking now that the route connects the two recently completed ‘Quarters’, Cultural & Station – what is does have is brilliant a clear sight lines – with the Civic Centre Clocktower, Wyndham Court, Central Station and Southampton Docks all visible at points along the route.

The proposals for creative public realm interventions at Kingsbridge Lane are a direct response to the following:

Preservation of the historic legacy and contextual significance of the local area –

 Topography – there is a 9m fall in height from the top of the route to the bottom –

 Kingsbridge Lane as a primary pedestrian route today, linking Southampton Station Quarter to the Cultural Quarter, city centre & east to west pedestrian axis –

 A practical need to screen existing Network Rail buildings and car park along the southern and northern boundaries of the site –

 

Entrance to Kingsbridge Lane is on the right hand side of this image from June 2016, prior to regeneration works starting. Image: Christopher Tipping

Kingsbridge Lane March 2016 prior to regeneration. Image: Christopher Tipping

Kingsbridge Lane March 2016 prior to regeneration. Image: Christopher Tipping

Kingsbridge Lane March 2016 prior to regeneration. Image: Christopher Tipping

Kingsbridge Lane March 2016 prior to regeneration. Image: Christopher Tipping

Kingsbridge Lane March 2016 prior to regeneration. Image: Christopher Tipping

My work here is an extension of the ‘Canal Shore’ concepts and research underpinning the Station Quarter North Project completed a couple of years earlier in 2016, which I had been involved with since 2012.  The text below set out the background of this work.

 

‘Inspiration, aspiration & delivery…

As project artist, I undertook a detailed investigation into the neighborhood’s social history, geography, ecology and culture to uncover hidden structures, which inform the area’s current form, identity & reputation. This site-specific & research-led activity assisted in driving the creative concept & rationale, which now underpins the general spatial layout, character and interpretation of the new proposals. I worked as part of an integrated design team including Engineers, Landscape Architects, Designers and specialist contractors. This collaborative process allowed me to work creatively, whilst being fully supported by the wider project team.

‘Southampton’s lost district: A landscape rediscovered’

An understanding of the site’s past physical condition drives the overall theme and character of the landscape & public realm interventions: a wooded valley, a meandering stream, the curve of the historic shoreline & the ill fated Southampton & Salisbury Canal. The primary human activities on the site over time, as evidenced by residential, industrial & cultural histories have been influential in drawing individual & collective ‘voices’ from the locality which will serve to imbue any outcomes with a distinctive & renewed sense of place.

This site, adjacent to the shoreline of the Test Estuary has always been a point of confluence. The main route West in & out of the city ran along the shoreline. In medieval times this route along the shore was known and ‘The Strand’. At a point marked by Achards Bridge, which crossed the Rollesbrook Stream to enter the River Test, the city boundary with Millbrook was established.

Today this point is almost exactly opposite the entrance to Southampton Station. Blechynden Terrace is considered to be built along the line of the filled in canal basin of the Southampton & Salisbury Canal. The historic shoreline and the highest point to which the tide rises was along the line of the road.

‘Canal Shore’ developed as a singular response to this research, which is supported by a broader influence, which has pervaded the whole site.

The artwork ‘Canal Shore’ is a consolidation of all that the site has to offer, both contextually and historically. In part it traced the line of the old shoreline & the only East to West route out of the city along the shingle beach from earliest times. It was the route of an ill-fated 19th Century canal. It is now a busy road and part of the transportation network of the city. Its route forms part of the perimeter of our site, so as a single element it has the capacity to help to unify the site and draw other more disparate elements together. The work represents the confluence of both historic and contemporary transportation routes within the city.

The location of the work dictates that it adds a tangible physical presence & value to the site. However, the materials and design are significant too. The black basalt kerb is deliberately large scale & incredibly robust, but has been engineered and designed with a particular aesthetic to blend well with its dual function. It considers traffic flow & movement through the site by allowing for transport access across its width, with elegant dropped kerb sets and large-scale corner quadrants. We have extended the width of the kerb to emphasize its importance as a marker of the historic shoreline of West Bay and the River Test Estuary, but also as a reference to the former Canal coping stone edge. Its function a physical kerb edge on the highway not only indicates that it is fit for purpose, but it deliberately aligns itself to the East to West axis of this transportation and pedestrian route within the City, extending and connecting to existing routes to the Cultural Quarter, QEII Mile and future Maritime Promenade’.

Rochester Riverside

I have been recently commissioned by Francis Knight Arts Consultancy, Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd and The Hyde Group, to make work for Phases 1 & 2 of the Rochester Riverside Development

I am working on this exciting architectural collaboration with the wider project team and more directly with BPTW Architects & Francis Knight.

I have completed a research and development phase and presented the outcome to the client team along with proposals for engaging with the site via artwork in cast iron and granite, embedded into footpaths to houses and threshold strips to apartment blocks. The draft presentation can be seen here: 180215 TIPPING RR PROPOSALS SM

My research has focussed primarily on the rich industrial heritage & legacy of the Rochester Riverside site. Much of this information was found within the archives and collections of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre at Strood.

I have also consulted with other notable local agencies and organisations, such as Rochester Cathedral Library, the Guildhall Museum and John K Austin, a local Artist, writer and historian.

 

The Flower Bowl

In July 2017 I was commissioned by Guy Topping, Managing Director of the multi award winning Barton Grange Garden Centre in Brock, Preston to design artwork to wrap around the external elevation rain screen of a new mixed use Leisure Centre he was developing to be called The Flower Bowl.  I was initially contacted by Jenni Muston of Rockpanel whose exterior cladding boards were specified for the work. Jenni put me in touch with Guy. I had previously collaborated with Jenni and project Architects HLM, on a project for Sheffield Hallam University Collegiate Campus. The new ‘HEART OF THE CAMPUS’ building was completed in 2015. As an award winning Garden Centre, the client was obviously keen to promote its long association with plants, trees and especially with flowers. The artwork is a celebration of flowers, inspired not so much by botanical accuracy, rather the abstract illustrative, super graphic nature of flowers at large scale, exploding like fireworks in celebration across the elevations of the building. The local landscape and textile heritage of Preston also contributed to research and concept development carried out at the Harris Museum. 

Christopher Tipping. Section 7 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2018. Image: Guy Topping

Christopher Tipping. Section 7 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2018. Image: Guy Topping

Christopher Tipping. Section 7 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2018. Image: Guy Topping

Christopher Tipping. Section 7 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2018. Image: Guy Topping

Christopher Tipping. Section 7 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2018. Image: Aztec Industrial Roofing Ltd.

The artwork was developed for production & manufacture in partnership with The Cutting Room in Huntingdon, with whom I collaborated on the Sheffield Hallam project. I am indebted to them for their commitment to the project. The boards are being installed on site by Aztec Industrial Roofing Ltd under the project main contractor Truman Design & Build. The installation & handling of the artwork boards on site has been & continues to be excellent. The project Architectural Consultants are WAJW 

A draft artist visual for The Flower Bowl by WAJW Architects showing indicative elevations and green roof with grazing sheep. Image: WAJW

Cranked corner, Sections 5 to 6 during installation. The Flower Bowl under construction. Image: Aztec Industrial Roofing Ltd.

Cranked corner, Sections 5 to 6 during installation. The Flower Bowl under construction. Image: Aztec Industrial Roofing Ltd.

Draft artwork in production. The Flower Bowl. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft artwork in production. The Flower Bowl. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft artwork and flower iconography in development. The Flower Bowl. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft artwork and Chrysanthemum flower iconography in development. The Flower Bowl. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft artwork and Water Lily flower iconography in development. The Flower Bowl. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft artwork and Iris flower iconography in development. The Flower Bowl. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Christopher Tipping. Section 2 Elevation during installation by Aztec. The Flower Bowl 2018. Image: Aztec Industrial Roofing Ltd.

Christopher Tipping. Section 2 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

Christopher Tipping. Section 2 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

Christopher Tipping. Section 2 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

When the Rockpanel Board is first cnc cut and installed, the exposed colour is yellow, which fairly quickly weathers to a darker & richer colour.

Christopher Tipping. Section 2 Elevation. Boards awaiting installation. The Flower Bowl 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

Section 2 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

Section 2 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2017. Image: Guy Topping

Section 2 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2017. Image: Guy Topping

Section 2 Elevation during installation. The Flower Bowl 2017. Image: Guy Topping

Agapanthus – Barton Grange Garden Centre – Research. Image: Christopher Tipping

Barton Grange Garden Centre – Research. Image: Christopher Tipping

Flower research at Barton Grange for The Flower Bowl. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Flower Bowl under construction. Image: Guy Topping

The Flower Bowl under construction. Image: Guy Topping

The Flower Bowl, September 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Flower Bowl, October 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Flower Bowl, adjacent Canal – October 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Flower Bowl, adjacent to the Lancaster Canal – September 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Canal Basin here is managed by the Barton Grange Garden Centre.

Barton Grange & The Flower Bowl is well positioned on the A6 Preston to Lancaster road, the M6, the London to Glasgow high speed mainline and the Lancaster Canal. Image: Christopher Tipping

Front of house under construction. Section 6 – The Flower Bowl October 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

Building under construction. Section 6 – The Flower Bowl October 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Littlemore Mental Health Centre – Detailed Design

Thursday 4th May 2017 – 

Draft Artwork: Littlemore Mental Health Centre. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft artwork awaiting approval to go into production – we are working with our client team to review / comment and approve in the next few days so we can meet our install schedule.

 

Draft Artwork: Littlemore Mental Health Centre. Artist: Christopher Tipping

At this stage I set all the imagery against a black background – which actually indicates glazing with no printing – just clear glass.

This work will be digitally printed onto optically clear vinyl. The process allows for a layer of colour, followed by a layer of white and finally another layer of colour. The artwork can be read equally from both viewing sides – inside or outside the building. The production level artwork files, sampling and final digital printing and installation is done by my long-time collaborators, Vinyl Graphics Ltd.

Draft Artwork: Littlemore Mental Health Centre. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft Artwork: Littlemore Mental Health Centre. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Various degrees of opacity and transparency are designed into the artwork. As a rule this is worked out via single colour files – in this case magenta – which clearly indicate degrees of opacity.

Draft Magenta Artwork: Littlemore Mental Health Centre. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft Magenta Artwork: Littlemore Mental Health Centre. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft Magenta Artwork: Littlemore Mental Health Centre. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft Artwork: Littlemore Mental Health Centre. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft Artwork: Littlemore Mental Health Centre. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft Artwork: Littlemore Mental Health Centre. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Jack Harrison VC – Harrison Park, Hull

Wednesday 3rd May 2017 

This new development of 64 Extra Care Apartments at Orchard Park, recently delivered in April this year by The Riverside Group is called ‘Harrison Park’, 100 years after Jack Harrison VC  a former Hull FC Rugby League Star was killed at Oppy Wood,  Arras, France in 1917 during the First World War.

Today – the 3rd May 2017 marks the day all four Hull Pals Battalions took part on the attack on Oppy Wood.

This event & others relating to WW1 are remembered on the 14-18-NOW WW! CENTENARY ART COMMISSIONS website.

A Pinterest Board of research images about Orchard Park and its history, can be found here. 

Hull is currently celebrating City of Culture 2017 statusso there is much to do and see there ! –

Detail: Glazing Vinyl installation Harrison Park, Hall Rd, Hull Extra Care. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Detail: Glazing Vinyl installation Harrison Park, Hall Rd, Hull Extra Care. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Christopher Tipping – Practice Update

Tuesday 3rd May 2017

“This is what I do”…

Chatham Placemaking Project – Left to Right – Project Artists: Xtina Lamb, Christopher Tipping, Simon Williams, Rob Young

A review of current and recently completed works –

I am an experienced Artist working in Public Realm, Urban Regeneration and Healthcare environments for Local Authorities, NHS Trusts and the Private Sector.

My projects exhibit contrasting variations in scale, budgets and delivery programmes. They illustrate how I can creatively collaborate within and successfully contribute to a variety of multi-disciplinary teams working in diverse locations and communities.

What underpins my approach to every project however, is a passion for contextually driven creative research and site analysis with which to inform, influence or drive a project forward. What actually delivers the project thereafter is an ability and a desire to collaborate from the outset, respectful of and creatively responsive to the contribution of all members of a client group.

I want to be involved in projects which create spaces and places which resonate with the people who will ultimately use them and which enhances their personal enjoyment and experience of it.

Click on the project titles for links to more detailed information.

 

CHATHAM PLACEMAKING PROJECT Public Realm and Regeneration – Status: Ongoing

Commissioned by Medway Council & Network Rail

Francis Knight Art Consultants

LDA Design & Project Centre

T Loughman Building and Civil Engineering Contractor

Hardscape

Chatham Placemaking Project. Draft Magazine page for ‘A Circle of Words in a Military Square’.

Chatham Placemaking Project. Draft Magazine page for ‘St John’s Steps & Crossing’. Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

SOUTHAMPTON STATION QUARTER NORTH – Transport & Public Realm – Status: Completed

Commissioned by Southampton City Council and Balfour Beatty Living Places

CH2MHill Halcrow 

Balfour Beatty

Hardscape

Cornish Concrete Products

Michael Grubb Studios

Parose Projects

Southampton Station Quarter North – Frobisher House Forecourt. Image: Wilson Massie. Project Artist: Christopher Tipping

Southampton Station Quarter North – Station Forecourt. Image: Wilson Massie. Project Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

HARRISON PARK, ORCHARD PARK, HULL – Extra Care Housing Scheme – digitally printed glazing vinyl and wall mounted work – Status: Ongoing

Commissioned by Riverside UK , Hull City Council & Wates Living Space 

RKL Public Art Consultants 

VGL – Vinyl Graphics Ltd

Croft Goode Architects

Re-Form Landscape Architects

Detail: Glazing Vinyl installation Harrison Park, Hall Rd, Hull Extra Care. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Detail: Glazing Vinyl installation Harrison Park, Hall Rd, Hull Extra Care. Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

LITTLEMORE MENTAL HEALTH CENTRE, OXFORD – Wenric Ward, digitally printed glazing vinyl – Status: Ongoing

Commissioned by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust & Artscape 

Vinyl Graphics Ltd

Draft Artwork for Wenric Ward, Littlemore Mental Health Unit, Oxford. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Draft Artwork for Wenric Ward, Littlemore Mental Health Unit, Oxford. Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

TAMESIDE NEW MACMILLAN UNIT  – Status: Completed

Commissioned by Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care NHS

Willis Newson Arts & Health Consultancy 

IBI Group Architects Rochdale, UK 

KKE Architects

John Turner Construction Group

Interior of the New Macmillan Unit, showing a detail of the main corridor bespoke wall covering as seen through the laminated glazed screens. Project Artist: Christopher Tipping

Interior detail of the New Macmillan Unit at Tameside Hospital – Project Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

KINGSBRIDGE LANE, SOUTHAMPTON – Public Realm project currently in development. An extension of the Southampton Station Quarter North Project – Status: Ongoing

Commissioned by Southampton City Council & Balfour Beatty Living Places

Hardscape

Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton. Draft sketch: Text embedded into basalt paving. Artist: Christopher Tipping

Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton. Draft Concept sketch: Stainless Steel screening wall with text. Artist: Christopher Tipping