Tag Archives: Granite

Brickies, Stackies and Stumpies

Brickies, Stackies and Stumpies refer to Thames Sailing Barges (aka Medway Barges or Rochester Sailing Barges or Spritsail Barges), which were built at Rochester and more specifically to the the trades they carried out. Brickies carried up to 40,000 bricks on the up river journey to London and came back laden with London’s rubbish. Huge mounds of glass bottles recorded on the Rochester Riverside site, north of Blue Boar Creek, are a result of this domestic waste being brought up the Medway from the capital. Stackies were piled high with Hay and Straw. Stumpies could take cement, lime, timber, clay, coal, bricks, hops and other commodities.

“Russet Brown & Ochre Sails with Various devices Emblazoned” Edgar J Marsh. ‘Spritsail Barges of the Thames and Medway’. 1948

Draft design for a granite paving slab. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample granite paving slab with water jet cut granite inlay and sandblasted text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The granite units will be manufactured in collaboration with Hardscape. 

Granite square tile with a sandblasted letter B. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample coloured granite squares with sandblasted letters. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample coloured granite squares with sandblasted letters. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Detail of sample granite paving slab with water jet cut granite inlay and sandblasted text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

I am proposing to make 24 artwork units in either cast iron or granite, with inlaid & sandblasted detail. The units will be embedded into paving within or adjacent to the threshold entrances to all Apartment blocks and to the footpaths of all the central and riverside designated housing. I want these works with their accompanying text and drawings to be seen each day as people cross the thresholds between the public realm and the private home. This site was an industrious place for hundreds of years, providing and creating the wealth upon which Rochester grew into a powerful and beautiful cathedral city. It’s wealth however, is not only in the grand and the elevated. The everyday, the matter of fact, the local and colloquial have all contributed over time to this place leaving a rich social and community-led legacy through the people whose livelihoods were centred on this fascinating site next to the River Medway. Shipbuilding, Sailmaking, Gasworks, Railways, Livestock Market, Transport, Fishing, Metal and Aggregate Trades and Market Gardening have all at various times left an indelible and tangible mark on this place, as have the domestic residences, pubs, shops and small businesses such as:

Henry Allen – Dealer in Building Materials

Jane Weaver – Milliner

Joseph Anderson – Clay Pipe Maker

George Millar – Wheelwright and Coach Builder

Ebenezer Baird – Tailor

…all of Rochester Common.

Detail of cast iron paving slab with low relief pattern and text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The images above shows a single panel manufactured by Hargreaves Foundry immediately after casting, when the surface is a gun-metal colour and then after a couple of weeks outside, where the colour is more akin to Corten steel.

The actual finish will be almost black, as the cast iron will eventually be treated with nitric acid to prevent further weathering.

There was an Iron Foundry on the site up to the 19th Century. HALLS IRON FOUNDRY was founded in 1785 and worked form premises adjacent to Cory’s Creek on Blue Boar Lane.  In the 1918 Directory of Manufacturers in England, James Hall & Son Ltd are listed as trading as T/A Hall’s Foundry. Tel. Chatham 169.

Cast Iron items such a pavement drains can still be see bearing the makers name in the streets surrounding the site.

James Hall & Son Cast Ltd. Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft design for a cast iron paving slab. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

BELVEDERE was the name of a Locomotive (a sentinel geared vertical boilered tank engine) that worked at William Cory’s Coal Yard and Cory’s Wharf. She was built by Sentinel (Shrewsbury) in 1945 & worked at Cory’s Wharf from 1950 to 1957 & is now at the Northampton Ironstone Museum. Belvedere was one of four Locomotives working in the yard – Thalia, Telemon and Greenwich being the others.

Detail of cnc milled model board for cast iron slab showing low relief pattern and text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The original models for the cast iron units are being manufactured by Arthur Jackson & Co Ltd in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

Plan of Rochester Riverside Phases 1 & 2, showing proposed sites for artwork as red or blue dots. Image: Christopher Tipping

I had researched the whole Rochester Riverside site and so have an enormous resource of material to draw upon. For the first two Phases of delivery however, we are focussing on site specific references relevant to the locality.

The following images show some of the draft artwork we may have to work with for the delivery of future Phases.

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Ross family were Shipbuilders working out of Acorn Yard on Rochester Riverside. Following the death of her husband Charles Ross in 1808 leaving her a widow with seven children, Mary Ross  took on the running of the yard. This was highly unusual for a woman at this time.

These are the ships built by Mary Ross following the death of her husband Charles.

Vigo: 1810 / 74 Guns / Broken up 1867

Goodwill:

Stirling Castle: 1811 / 74 Guns / Hulk in 1839

Thistle: 1812 / Gun Brig / 12 guns / broken up 1832

Epervier: 1812 / 18 Guns

Eridanus: 1813 / 36 Guns

Confiance: 1813 / Cruizer Class / broken up 1832

Tanais: 1813 / 38 Guns / built of Fir / broken up 1819

HMS Fury: 1814 / Bomb Vessel / Lost 1825

HMS Fury was launched in 1814 and was one of Captain Parry’s two ‘Discovery Ships surveying for the Hudson Bay Company. Fury was converted to an Arctic exploration ship. Commander William Edward Parry commissioned her in December 1820 She then made two journeys to the Arctic, both in company with her sister ship, Hecla. Her second Arctic voyage ended in disaster. She was damaged by ice while overwintering and was abandoned on 25 August 1825, at what has since been called Fury Beach on Somerset Island on the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

William Higham had a Barge Building business on Blue Boar Hard. He was born in 1838 in Lewes Sussex. On 27th October 1864 he married Fanny Elizabeth Blake in Strood, nr, Rochester. By 1881 they had 9 children and they lived in a private house on Victoria Street, Rochester. William employed 11 men and 7 boys. THE FIVE BROTHERS was the last Barge built at this yard alongside DOROTHY in 1901.

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

Frederick Furrell was born in 1807 and died in 1877. Frederick Furrell & Son were Coal Merchants. He was also an Alderman & Shipowner. He had ten children with his wife Katherine who he had married on February 25th 1832 at St Margaret’s Church in Rochester. Fred was Mayor of Rochester in 1855. Furrell’s Wharf – a 30m length of post and plank revetment of Oak and Elm Posts, most likely made from re-used ships timbers was in use in 1865 making it one of the oldest sites for industry on Rochester Riverside. It was accessed via Furrell’s Road.

His name also lived on as ‘Furrells Pond’, “where children swam and skated in Icy weather – The site flooded during exceptionally high tides” . Edwin Harris

 Furrells Wharf was also the destination of many travelling shows, menageries and circuses – such as Wombwells Wild Beasts & Edmonds Menagerie – George Sangers Circus, Pinder’s Circus, Middletons’ Marionettes. 

 

 

 

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft designs for cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft designs for cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

 

The Granite Bench at Rogallo Place –

Rogallo Place Granite Bench by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

A simple monolithic granite bench was also commissioned for Rogallo Place by Optivo Homes. A beautiful honed finish is sandblasted with the name of the building alongside detailed motifs reflecting the glazing vinyls of the building’s interior.

The bench was manufactured and supplied in collaboration with Hardscape, as ever, great to work with.

Rogallo Place Granite Bench by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Granite Bench by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Granite Bench by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Hardscape

The image above was taken during production at Hardscape’s Facility at Long Marston, near Stratford Upon Avon.

Rogallo Place Granite Bench by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Hardscape

Rogallo Place Granite Bench by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Granite Bench Drawings by Hardscape for Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Hardscape

Rogallo Place Granite Bench by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Granite Bench by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Richard Gooding

Rogallo Place Granite Bench by Artist Christopher Tipping. Image: Francis Knight Art Consultants

Rogallo Place & production visit to VGL

VGL Art Room, Reading. Approving Production Files. Image: Christopher Tipping

As with most of my projects I rely on creative collaboration and engagement with specialist suppliers and manufacturers. VGL are one of the best I have worked with. Their digital printing facilities are excellent, but it their outstanding collaborative skills which enable me to create work like this. The following images are from a factory visit in July 2018 to review sample production and the creation and sign off of the digital production files.

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Print Room Samples for Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Print Room Samples for Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Print Room Samples for Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

A Circle of Words in a Military Square

The regeneration and public realm works in Military Square, Chatham have very nearly been completed. This involves the installation of 400 bespoke radius-cut monolithic blocks of granite set into 17m diameter circle, putting a circle of words at the centre of a Military Square!

154 of the granite blocks have words, numbers & patterns sandblasted or inset into the surface. Just over 400 words are included – 

Local school children & people working in local businesses were asked for their comments.

We listened to them & heard their stories. We listened to the sound of their lives.

There is an overwhelming sense of common ownership in this project.

These words are not ours. They belong to Chatham.

Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft Artwork for Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Granite blocks awaiting installation in Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

You may know that the aim of this public realm project was to upgrade the route from Chatham Station to the Waterfront. This includes pedestrian and cycle routes as well as crossing points, upgrading paving materials, improving steps and ramps, opening up the public realm and streamlining access and pedestrian permeability.

Francis Knight, Public Art Consultants, managed the Public Art Project. Our project collaborators and consultants to Medway Council were LDA Design and Project Centre. 

We have worked within these parameters, using the language of public realm and materials, which are robust and stand the test of time. We have created a quiet ‘narrative’ thread – a story about Chatham –  & more specifically about events and places along this route.

We wanted the streets to speak quietly, confidently & with good humour about Chatham…WHAT MAKES A TOWN? …THESE ARE OUR STREETS…part memorial, part living voice…but mostly a celebration of the rich heritage and community of Chatham.

As an artist and designer of public spaces, this project has been an opportunity to influence our surroundings in a way that ‘speaks’ of Chatham and its people. We mostly take our pavements for granted, but these spaces have often developed from historic pathways and tracks linking communities and towns across the wider region. They have a resonance and a ‘voice’, …and echo with history. 

The route from the Station to the Waterfront takes us down Railways Street & Military Road – in doing so we pass several key places, such as New Cut (a former farmyard), St John’s (a Grade II Listed Waterloo Church) – Military Square, considered the Heart of the Town. At these important sites, we have made interventions to articulate the granite kerb in ways, which are expressive and of interest, whilst still maintaining functionality.

Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Military Square, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

KIMBER’S CHIMNEY – Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton

 

‘The SOUTHAMPTON and SALISBURY CANAL passed through a tunnel just to the left of here…almost under your feet’

 

 

Kingsbridge Lane with Civic Centre and Clocktower. Image: Massie Wilson

 

‘Can you see Southampton’s 1930s CIVIC CENTRE? The Clock Tower, Kimber’s Chimney, reaches 156 feet in height…’

 

Text – white granite inset into contrasting black granite.

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 20thCentury. 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.

Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton. Image: Massie Wilson

Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton. 14 lines of text – Image: Balfour Beatty

 

‘SOUTHAMPTON is a Sea City on the SOLENT    …with and unusual Double High Tide’. 

 

Text – white granite inset into contrasting black granite.

Aerial view of Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton. Image: Massie Wilson

 

‘Oh when the SAINTS go marching in …I want to be in that number… oh when the Saints go marching in…’

 

 

Nighttime aerial view of Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton. Image: Massie Wilson

‘In 2017 over 6 million passengers used Southampton CENTRAL STATION’

 

Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton. Nighttime view. Image: Massie Wilson

‘SOUTHAMPTON is a Sea City on the SOLENT    …with and unusual Double High Tide’. 

Basalt Slabs with inset text at Hardscape for Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton. Image: Massie Wilson

 

‘Jane Austen lived in Southampton from 1806 to 1809 … her house on Castle Square had a wonderful garden that hugged the old city walls’

 

Kingsbridge Lane, Southampton. Image: Massie Wilson

The granite seating and retaining walls by Hardscape are undercut along the front edge suggesting the movement of water throughout the site.

 

‘The MAYFLOWER set sail from SOUTHAMPTON across the Atlantic to America in 1620′

 

 

Aerial view of Kingsbridge Lane at the junction with Blechynden Terrace and West Park Rd, Southampton. Image: Massie Wilson

 

 

Look at this …

Alan Lovell of Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies sent some great production images of the 7m diameter PietraPave granite mosaic I created, during its recent construction in China. The work has been manufactured and is now on its way to the UK for installation at The Flower Bowl, Barton Grange nr Preston.

7m diameter granite mosaic during manufacture in China. Image by kind permission: Alan Lovell, Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies, Pietra Pave

7m diameter granite mosaic during manufacture in China. Image by kind permission: Alan Lovell, Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies, Pietra Pave

7m diameter granite mosaic during manufacture in China. Image by kind permission: Alan Lovell, Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies, Pietra Pave

7m diameter granite mosaic during manufacture in China. Image by kind permission: Alan Lovell, Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies, Pietra Pave

7m diameter granite mosaic during manufacture in China. Image by kind permission: Alan Lovell, Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies, Pietra Pave

7m diameter granite mosaic during manufacture in China. Image by kind permission: Alan Lovell, Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies, Pietra Pave

7m diameter granite mosaic during manufacture in China. Image by kind permission: Alan Lovell, Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies, Pietra Pave

 

7m diameter granite mosaic during manufacture in China. Image by kind permission: Alan Lovell, Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies, Pietra Pave

7m diameter granite mosaic during manufacture in China. Image by kind permission: Alan Lovell, Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies, Pietra Pave

 

 

Big Flower Mosaic

The last pieces of production artwork have now been signed off. Most of the front elevation of the building has now been installed. Weirdly I’ve not yet been up to see it. Been pretty busy here in Ramsgate.

A good thing is that Guy Topping commissioned a further piece of work from me – a 7m diameter granite mosaic of a large flower for the main entrance threshold. The manufacturing work was commissioned from Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies and will be manufactured in China.

The Flower Bowl. Draft for granite mosaic paving entrance feature. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Flower Bowl. Draft for granite mosaic paving entrance feature. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Flower Bowl. Draft for granite mosaic paving entrance feature. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Flower Bowl. Draft for granite mosaic paving entrance feature. Image: Christopher Tipping

Some Chatham Words

You may have seen some of our work embedded into the streetscape along Railway Street. Large scale granite kerbs contain words sandblasted or inlaid into the surface. You may wonder what these words mean, or how they relate to you. Here is a short explanation of how they came about. 

We often talk about words having weight – of text being ‘set in stone’… or ’engraved in stone’…suggesting gravitas, importance, longevity, …we all like a funny ‘one liner’…colloquial, local…distinct Chatham voices…

Well, here in Chatham your words really are being set in stone…for all to read…for years to come –

Chatham Placemaking Project. “A Chatham Barber called Long John…”. Image: Christopher Tipping

Chatham Placemaking Project. “Colin carried coal…”. Image: Christopher Tipping. Words: Rob Young

You may know that the aim of this public realm project was to upgrade the route from Chatham Station to the Waterfront. This includes pedestrian and cycle routes as well as crossing points, upgrading paving materials, improving steps and ramps, opening up the public realm and streamlining access and pedestrian permeability. This work was driven by Francis Knight, Public Art Consultants & our project collaborators and consultants to Medway Council, LDA Design and Project Centre. 

We have worked within these parameters, using the language of public realm and materials, which are robust and stand the test of time. We have created a quiet ‘narrative’ thread – a story about Chatham –  & more specifically about events and places along this route.

We wanted the streets to speak quietly, confidently & with good humour about Chatham…WHAT MAKES A TOWN ?…THESE ARE OUR STREETS…part memorial, part living voice…but mostly a celebration of the rich heritage and community of Chatham.

Chatham Placemaking Project. 57 Submarines.
Image: Christopher Tipping.

As an artist and designer of public spaces, this project has been an opportunity to influence our surroundings in a way that ‘speaks’ of Chatham and its people. We mostly take our pavements for granted, but these spaces have often developed from historic pathways and tracks linking communities and towns across the wider region. They have a resonance and a ‘voice’, …and echo with history. 

The route from the Station to the Waterfront takes us down Railways Street & Military Road – in doing so we pass several key places, such as New Cut ( a former farmyard), St John’s ( a Grade II Listed Waterloo Church) – Military Square, considered the Heart of the Town. At these important sites, we have made interventions to articulate the granite kerb in ways which are expressive and of interest, whilst still maintaining functionality.

We were keen to hear and to record everyday voices …words spoken by ordinary people – such as ‘the girl who cried when she lost her phone and then cried again when she found it’... ‘the lovey barmaid’ …or ‘Colin, the man who carried coal for charity’…these are the voices of people on the street, passers by, people shopping & passing the time of day. We engaged with people directly in conversation, we overheard the conversations of others, we wrote down and recorded stories and anecdotes we were told.

I was very fortunate to collaborate with other artists on this project. Filmmaker Simon Williams succinctly and with an understated eye for visual language and movement, cleverly framed our project parameters and vision in a series of short films, whilst printmaker Xtina Lamb rendered our architectural vision into graphic patterns & motifs used throughout the scheme. Both artists also live in Chatham, bringing their individual & unique perspectives to play. However, it was the award winning writer Rob Young, who contributed significantly to the embedded text. An astute, profound and funny wordsmith with an ability to engage anyone and everyone, turning their words into poetry along the way.

“The knitter. Whose name is Pearl.

The woman. Who uses the word ‘like?’ As like, punctuation?

The woman. Who said sorry. When you’re the one who pushed in.

The woman. Who draws breath. Then monologues. For an hour.

The waiter. Who had a fling. With a Bride. At her wedding.

The girl. Who cried. All day. When she lost her phone. Then cried again. When she found it.

The boy. Whose Mum. Made him take back the sweets. That he stole.

The man. Who says, I’m mad, me. Who isn’t mad, at all. Just lonely”. Rob Young 2016

 

 

Justin Coe, a poet and writer also contributed, animatedly performing his work directly to camera, whilst walking the route in a film by Simon Williams.

Film still image of Poet & Writer Justin Coe performing his work on Military Road, Chatham. Image: Simon Williams

 

“On his way to his first day of school on Rome Lane

(The name of this road – before the trains came)

And while we’re walking with Dickens – observe the new Church

They’ve called it St Johns. And it will soon be the first

Public building in Chatham lit by electricity!…

Though all the lights went out here by the end of last century…” Justin Coe 2016

 

Local school children & people working in local businesses were asked for their comments. We listened to them & heard their stories. We listened to the sound of their lives. There is an overwhelming sense of common ownership in this project. These words are not ours. They belong to Chatham.

We referenced times past by collaborating with MALSC (Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre) and other local agencies in searching for site specific text, such as the words of famous visitors & local Luminaries such as Charles Dickens, reminiscing about soldiers marching through the town in regimented rows …’

The oversized granite kerbs we have used here become a metaphor for the continuity of the local community – kerbs being critical in holding roads and pavements in place – they are physically important in maintaining the fabric of our environment –they could almost be described as ‘defensive structures’ maintaining the integrity and safety of our public spaces …reminiscent of the Chatham Lines – the historic defensive structures, forts and earthworks, which offered protection to the people of Medway & especially the Chatham Dockyard …

The granite kerb acts as a threshold between various states …of the pedestrian…and the driver, or moving fast or slow – perceptions of safety & danger…often the original granite kerb is often the only thing left in place when pavements and roads have been re-placed or modernised throughout recent history…the kerb maintains the parameters of how public spaces were managed and maintained. These lines of granite are also ‘our other Chatham Lines…’

More of the kerbstone lies buried beneath the surface than on top of it… and so it is also a rather poignant link between the past and the present…where times and events past lie buried beneath out feet –

Chatham Placemaking Project – granite kerbs being installed on Railway Street. Image: Christopher Tipping

Our work in Chatham set out to find and hear voices and words which quietly & evocatively create a sense of place associated with each of our stopping points on the route from the Station to the Paddock… the power of these voices is amplified by the weight and mass of the monolithic granite.

Left in place, these words will still be here in a hundred years from now…

 

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

 

 

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.