Tag Archives: Text

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…

 

Ginger Beer anyone?

B. R. Phillips, Invicta Works, 22 – 24 Railway Street, Chatham, made Home Brewed Ginger Beer

‘Phillips Chatham Invicta Mineral Waterworks Unrivaled Brewed Ginger Beer’. !

D.J Whiffen, Invicta Mineral Waterworks, 22 – 24 Railway Street, Chatham

B.R. Philips made Home Brewed Ginger Beer at The Invicta Works, Nos 22 - 24 Railway Street - Chatham Placemaking Project - Chatham Patterns - Image: Christopher Tipping

B.R. Philips made Home Brewed Ginger Beer at The Invicta Works, Nos 22 – 24 Railway Street – Chatham Placemaking Project – Chatham Patterns – Image: Christopher Tipping

Railway Street from New Cut Viaduct date unknown. Collection of Rex Cadman. by Permission of Rex Cadman and Kent Photo Archive.

Railway Street from New Cut Viaduct date unknown. Collection of Rex Cadman. by Permission of Rex Cadman and Kent Photo Archive.

Nos. 20 - 26 Railway Street. Chatham Placemaking Project - Chatham Patterns - Image: Christopher Tipping

No. 26 Railway Street. In 1961, this was the premises of Frank Bannister & Son Ltd – Motor and Motorcycle Engineers. Chatham Placemaking Project – Chatham Patterns – Image: Christopher Tipping

In 1912 – No 26 was the home of the Invicta Furniture and Baggage Depository. No 28 was a Garage and Cycle Works.

Rome House, No 41 Railway Street. Chatham Placemaking Project - Chatham Patterns - Image: Christopher Tipping

Rome House, No 41 Railway Street. Chatham Placemaking Project – Chatham Patterns – Image: Christopher Tipping

The 1848 Ordnance Survey Public Health Map of Chatham shows Rome House – a large detached mansion set in landscaped gardens – opposite St John’s Church on Rome Lane. Following the building of Chatham Railway Station, Rome Lane became Railway Street sometime after 1871. No 41 would have been a new property named after the original house.

A detail from the 1848 OS Public Health Map of Chatham, with St John's Church and Rome House opposite on Rome Lane. The pink line shows the route of the railway and Chatham Railway Station opened in January 1858. By permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre. Chatham Placemaking Project.

A detail from the 1848 OS Public Health Map of Chatham, with St John’s Church and Rome House on Rome Lane at top right. The pink line shows the eventual route of the railway and Chatham Railway Station, which opened in January 1858. By permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre. Chatham Placemaking Project.

A detail of the OS Map of Chatham from 1864. By permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre. Chatham Placemaking Project. Image: Christopher Tipping

A detail of the OS Map of Chatham from 1864. By permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre. Chatham Placemaking Project. Image: Christopher Tipping

This detail of the OS 1864 Map of Chatham shows Chatham Station at the bottom of this image. Railway Street to Military Road runs from the middle of the image to the top of the image. St John’s Church and Rome House can clearly be seen.

Blechynden Terrace from the multi story car park…

Tuesday 15th March 2016

I have to admit that this is the first time I have been inside the multi storey car park at the junction of West Park Road and Kingsbridge Lane. The first time in over 12 years coming to Southampton. What a good view down Blechynden Terrace !

A section of the Southampton Station Quarter North Project looking west along Blechynden Terrace towards Central Station - as seen from the multi storey car park at the bottom of West Park Road. Image by Project Artist Christopher Tipping

A section of the Southampton Station Quarter North Project looking west along Blechynden Terrace towards Central Station – as seen from the multi storey car park at the bottom of West Park Road. Image by Project Artist Christopher Tipping

The main pedestrian routes on the north and south sides have been re-surfaced and the public artwork “Canal Shore’, a 205m long wide basalt kerb detail with inlaid granite text, forms a strong and robust visual desire line on the south side of Blechynden Terrace all the way to the Station Forecourt.

Station Quarter North, Southampton. 'Canal Shore' is a 205m long bespoke basalt kerb detail with inset granite text, running along Blechynden Terrace. Image by Project Artist : Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. ‘Canal Shore’ is a 205m long bespoke basalt kerb detail with inset granite text, running along Blechynden Terrace. Image by Project Artist : Christopher Tipping

Someone walking along 'Canal Shore', a section of the Southampton Station Quarter North Project looking west along Blechynden Terrace towards Central Station - as seen from the multi storey car park at the bottom of West Park Road. Image by Project Artist Christopher Tipping

Someone walking along ‘Canal Shore’, a section of the Southampton Station Quarter North Project looking west along Blechynden Terrace towards Central Station – as seen from the multi storey car park at the bottom of West Park Road. Image by Project Artist Christopher Tipping

 

A view of buses and cars travelling west along a section of the Southampton Station Quarter North Project route on Blechynden Terrace towards Central Station - as seen from the multi storey car park at the bottom of West Park Road. Image by Project Artist Christopher Tipping

A view of buses and cars travelling west along a section of the Southampton Station Quarter North Project route on Blechynden Terrace towards Central Station – as seen from the multi storey car park at the bottom of West Park Road. Image by Project Artist Christopher Tipping

The footpath just visible at the bottom left corner of this image is the start of Kingsbridge Lane, which is the main pedestrian route from the Station to the City Centre and Cultural Quarter. This route is very well trafficked and very busy at peak times, with a flow of people at all times of day. The visual and physical connection to the Station Quarter Project is currently poor and we are now scoping this route to consider an approach to regenerating the site and improving connectivity and user experience.

 

Station Quarter North check-up visit –

Monday 28th September 2015, Station Quarter North, Southampton – 

It’s been a while since I posted an update on the Station Quarter Project

Station Quarter  - A new Gateway to Southampton. Works on site - Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter – A new Gateway to Southampton. Works on site – Image:Christopher Tipping

I met up on site with Simon Taylor – Urban Design Manager, Balfour Beatty Living Places and Pete Boustred  – Transport Policy & Sustainable Travel Team Leader at Southampton City Council. I was first commissioned to work on the interpretive and site responsive elements of the project by Simon at BBLP in 2012.  We have worked together several times previously in the City. BBLP are delivering the project for Southampton City Council.

Massive changes since my last visit if you look at earlier posts, but brilliant to see the project coming together so well. The amphitheatre steps, part of the Phase 2 works on Wyndham Place have arrived and have been lifted into place. There are a number of other structures still with the manufacturer and these are expected to arrive over the coming weeks. The installation of the large-scale  bespoke cast concrete benches, amphitheatre steps and retaining structures manufactured by CCP will continue over the coming weeks. Hopefully I will get down to Southampton again soon to record more progress.

Station Quarter North, Southampton. The view on exiting the Station.  Bespoke cast concrete works being installed on the Station Forecourt as part pf the new public realm and transport hub. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. The view on exiting the Station.
Bespoke cast concrete works being installed on the Station Forecourt as part pf the new public realm and transport hub. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke Cast Concrete Amphitheatre Steps during installation at Wyndham Place. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke Cast Concrete Amphitheatre Steps during installation at Wyndham Place. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke Cast Concrete Amphitheatre Steps during installation at Wyndham Place. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke Cast Concrete Amphitheatre Steps during installation at Wyndham Place. Image:Christopher Tipping

What was a real pain was that although it was a brilliant blue day – this part of the site was in deep shadow, so the images are a bit too dark to do the work justice !

2015-09-28 15.22.09

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke Cast Concrete Amphitheatre Steps during installation at Wyndham Place. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke Cast Concrete Amphitheatre Steps during installation at Wyndham Place. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke Cast Concrete Amphitheatre Steps during installation at Wyndham Place. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke Cast Concrete Amphitheatre Steps during installation at Wyndham Place. Image:Christopher Tipping

Other cast concrete works are also on site –

These benches are on the Station Forecourt, immediately as you enter or exit the Station building. This is one section of a large curving two tier bench and way-finding feature within the scheme.

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke cast concrete two tier radius bench awaiting final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke cast concrete two tier radius bench awaiting final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke cast concrete two tier radius bench awaiting final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke cast concrete two tier radius bench awaiting final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke cast concrete two tier radius bench in multiple sections awaiting final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke cast concrete two tier radius bench in multiple sections awaiting final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on the Station Forecourt. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on Commercial Road. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on Commercial Road. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on Commercial Road. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on Commercial Road. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on Commercial Road. Image:Christopher Tipping

Station Quarter North, Southampton. Bespoke four piece cast concrete radius bench during final installation on Commercial Road. Image:Christopher Tipping

 

 

 

Multi-rotor copter aerial images from Dean Barkley

29th June 2015  – 

Margate Flood & Coastal Protection Project 

These wonderful new images of ‘Margate Steps’ were taken this week by photographer  Dean Barkley, using a multi-rotor copter. Dean can be contacted on dean@barkleyimages.co.uk.  There is also a short film – once I have worked out how to post that online!!!

The images clearly show the scale and impact that the Coastal Protection Project has had on the local area. The additional public realm and and amenity space that the works have provided is shaping the way that the seafront engages with the Old Town and Harbour. Even at high tide, the Old Town is accessible from the beach, which had previously not been possible. The wonderful coastal setting which has become the backdrop for the regeneration of the Harbour Arm, Custom House, Turner Contemporary, Old Town, Margate Steps and now finally Dreamland coming on stream has really made Margate magnificent once again.

Margate Flood & Coast Protection Scheme. Aerial image obtained from a multi-rotor copter by photographer Dean Barkley. Image: Dean Barkley

Margate Flood & Coast Protection Scheme. Aerial image obtained from a multi-rotor copter by photographer Dean Barkley. Image: Dean Barkley

Margate Flood & Coast Protection Scheme. Aerial image obtained from a multi-rotor copter by photographer Dean Barkley. Image: Dean Barkley

Margate Flood & Coast Protection Scheme. Aerial image obtained from a multi-rotor copter by photographer Dean Barkley. Image: Dean Barkley

 

Central Chelmsford aka City Park West – Phase 1

Tuesday 9th June 2015 – City Park West, Phase 1 site visit.

Works are progressing well on site – in fact the scheme is very much in it’s final phase of works to complete the landscape around the site.

Most of the interpretive public art elements are now installed throughout the site.

The content of many of these images you may be familiar with – but the installation is much nearer to completion with the soft landscape details really making an impact on the interpretation and public art elements. Area Landscape Architects are responsible for the external landscape concept, design and strategy and have created a sensitive and wonderful scheme, which I have been fortunate to work within.

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Yorkstone steps with inset granite text - a part of the embedded public art interpretation - image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Yorkstone steps with inset granite text – a part of the embedded public art interpretation – image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Yorkstone steps with inset granite text - a part of the embedded public art interpretation - image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Yorkstone steps with inset granite text – a part of the embedded public art interpretation – image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Yorkstone steps with inset granite text & timber seating routed with more text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. The image was taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Yorkstone steps with inset granite text & timber seating routed with more text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. The image was taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Yorkstone steps with inset granite text & timber seating routed with more text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. The image was taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Yorkstone steps with inset granite text & timber seating routed with more text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. The image was taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Yorkstone steps with inset granite text & timber seating routed with more text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. The image was taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Yorkstone steps with inset granite text & timber seating routed with more text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. The image was taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Digitally printed glazing manifestations form part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Digitally printed glazing manifestations form part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Shadows cast by the digitally printed glazing manifestations, which form part of the embedded public art interpretation, add to the experience of the internal lobby entrance. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Shadows cast by the digitally printed glazing manifestations, which form part of the embedded public art interpretation, add to the experience of the internal lobby entrance. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Courtyard with slatted timber seating routed with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Sandblasted stone with Anne Knight quotation as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Sandblasted stone with Anne Knight quotation as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

“Never will the nations of the earth be well governed until both sexes, as well as all parties, are fully represented and have an influence, a voice, and a hand in the enactment and administration of the law”.  Anne Knight, 1847.

This famous quote by Anne Knight has been used with permission from the Library of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain, Friends House, Euston Rd, London.

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Sandblasted stone with references to Anne Knight of Chelmsford as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Sandblasted stone with references to Anne Knight of Chelmsford as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Sandblasted granite with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Sandblasted granite with text as part of the embedded public art interpretation. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Central Courtyard in progress, with embedded public art & interpretative detail. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford for Genesis Housing Association. Detail: Central Courtyard in progress, with embedded public art & interpretative detail. Image taken during installation on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

 

 

 

Central Chelmsford

Finally caught up with progress on the Central Chelmsford Project on Thursday 19th February.

I hadn’t been to site since October 2014 & things had really moved on, with one block of the development already open to residents. The public realm is still ongoing, which includes the embedded artwork and interpretive text.

Installation in progress - York Stone steps with inset granite text to risers. Image:Christopher Tipping

Installation in progress – York Stone steps with inset granite text to risers. Image:Christopher Tipping

 

Central Chelmsford - Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects for Genesis Housing Association.  Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford – Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects for Genesis Housing Association. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford - Denne Construction, Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects, Area Landscape Architects for Genesis Housing Association.

Central Chelmsford – Denne Construction, Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects, Area Landscape Architects for Genesis Housing Association.

Central Chelmsford - Installation in progress - York Stone steps with inset granite text to risers. Image:Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford – Installation in progress – York Stone steps with inset granite text to risers. Image:Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford - Installation in progress - York Stone steps with inset granite text to risers. Image:Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford – Installation in progress – York Stone steps with inset granite text to risers. Image:Christopher Tipping

The York stone steps with inset granite text was manufactured & supplied by the Ashfield Group. The installation on site is a very time consuming and bespoke process. I am looking forward to seeing the works all cleaned up and finished.

The large sandblasted granite platform seat has been installed, but not completely finished as yet.  This element, along with the sandblasted paving text was manufactured  & supplied by Hardscape.

Central Chelmsford - Large Granite Platform Seat  with Sandblasted detail & text by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford – Large Granite Platform Seat with Sandblasted detail & text by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford - Large Granite Platform Seat  with sandblasted detail & text by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford – Large Granite Platform Seat with sandblasted detail & text by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford - Detail: Large Granite Platform Seat  with sandblasted detail & text by Christopher Tipping, manufactured by Hardscape.  Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford – Detail: Large Granite Platform Seat with sandblasted detail & text by Christopher Tipping, manufactured by Hardscape.
Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford  - Courtyard.  Detail: Large Granite Platform Seat  with sandblasted detail & text by Christopher Tipping - manufactured by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford – Courtyard. Detail: Large Granite Platform Seat with sandblasted detail & text by Christopher Tipping – manufactured by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

The central courtyard is in progress, with brick built raised beds with trees, shrubs and grasses. All hard landscape concept design and planting for the scheme is by Area Landscape Architects.

The interpretation work I have done is mainly embedded within this scheme as seating, paving & steps. The text – as seen below – sandblasted into Royal Green Granite slabs & set into York Stone paving – has not yet been cleaned & is very dusty and dirty from continuing building works. The site is closed to the public. This will however, become a busy pedestrian thoroughfare when completed. .

Central Chelmsford. A 'stream' of Royal Green Granite with sandblasted text runs through the paving on site. Manufactured by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford. A ‘stream’ of Royal Green Granite with sandblasted text runs through the paving on site. Manufactured by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford. A 'stream' of Royal Green Granite with sandblasted text runs through the paving on site. Manufactured by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford. A ‘stream’ of Royal Green Granite with sandblasted text runs through the paving on site. Manufactured by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford. A 'stream' of Royal Green Granite with sandblasted text runs through the York Stone paving on site. Manufactured by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford. A ‘stream’ of Royal Green Granite with sandblasted text runs through the York Stone paving on site. Manufactured by Hardscape. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford - Pedestrian routes through the central courtyard will open out on expansive views over a large landscaped public open  space &  Central Park beyond.  Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford – Pedestrian routes through the central courtyard will open out on expansive views over a large landscaped public open space & Central Park beyond. Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford - When completed, pedestrian routes through the central courtyard & heart of the site will open out via a dramatic black brick portal entrance onto a landscaped public realm with the Anne Knight Building and Chelmsford Railway Station.  Image: Christopher Tipping

Central Chelmsford – When completed, pedestrian routes through the central courtyard & heart of the site will open out via a dramatic black brick portal entrance onto a landscaped public realm with the Anne Knight Building and Chelmsford Railway Station. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

 

Merthyr Tydfil Bus Station and Link Bridge

9th February 2015

I have now made two visits to Merthyr Tydfil & am preparing to go up again this week for two days to meet with the project team and Capita, who will be delivering the Bus Station. Capita recently completed the The River Taff Central Link and Bridge –  a new road system that connects Merthyr Learning Quarter at the existing Penry Street Bridge, through Avenue De Clichy, across the new road bridge located south of Swan Street, and via the new road in front of the College. The new bridge is a major landmark for the town.

The town centre is fascinating & has some wonderful architecture. Just remember to look up above the shop fronts to see the architectural detail! Key anchor buildings are still extant & a good deal of regeneration is breathing new life into these buildings and by default, back into the town centre. The RedHouse, an arts and cultural centre – in the former Town Hall –  is a singular example of great regeneration practice & takes in the adjoining Penderyn Square – As part of the Heritage Quarter development, a new civic square outside the renovated Old Town Hall will be a key focal point for the cultural identity of Merthyr Tydfil.  The square will be a vibrant environment that will host events across the year celebrating the heritage of the town”. 

I have done a lot of walking and am talking to whoever I can to enlighten me on the legacy and heritage of the town, but also about its aspiration and spirit for the future.

I have also been asked to contribute to a feasibility study commissioned by Merthyr Tydfil CBC, to look into replacing the existing footbridge link from the College, to St Tydfil’s Shopping Centre with a new footbridge which also extends to the site of the new Bus Station on Swan Street. The project is being delivered by Mott MacDonald  & Knight Architects.  This pedestrian connectivity is a critical element in unifying the accessibility of trains, buses  and pedestrian routes in the town. It serves also to improve and build upon the visual impact a new footbridge may have as a landmark attraction and destination along the Taff Trail, bringing more tourists and visitors to the town centre.

The site of the new Bus Station on Swan Street. Image: Christoher Tipping

The site of the new Bus Station on Swan Street. Image: Christoher Tipping

This site, on the corner of Swan Street and Avenue de Clichy was until recently, the home of the Hollies Health Centre, which has now moved to state of the art new facilities in the Keir Hardie Health Park at Cyfarthfa. The old buildings have now  been demolished. The old Police Station – right & centre of picture, is also in process of demolition to make way for the Bus Station. The back of the St Tydfil’s Shopping Centre can be see on the left of this image.

The new Bus Station site as seen from the new River Taff Road bridge. Image: Christopher Tipping

The new Bus Station site as seen from the new River Taff Road bridge. Image: Christopher Tipping

360 Panoramic image of the Swan Street site. Residential flats and two schools lie to the south of the site & a sensitive response is imperative. Image: Christopher Tipping

360 Panoramic image of the Swan Street site. Residential flats and two schools lie to the south of the site & a sensitive response is imperative. Image: Christopher Tipping

The current Bus Station off Castle Street. Image: Christopher Tipping

The current Bus Station off Castle Street. Image: Christopher Tipping

This image looks grim, but to be fair, the weather on the day was dreadful ! If you turned around, the views out to the surrounding hills are great, even on a horrible day. Castle Street now leads onto the new River Taff Central Link Road at one end and the Redhouse at the other – both, great examples of the power of regeneration schemes in the town to make credible changes.

The College, Merthyr Tydfil, which opened on September 2nd 2013. Image: Christopher Tipping

The College, Merthyr Tydfil, which opened on September 2nd 2013. Image: Christopher Tipping

Panoramic image of the College at Merthyr Tydfil showing the new road and extensive public realm. The River Taff footbridge is at the far right of this image. Image: Christopher Tipping

Panoramic image of the College at Merthyr Tydfil showing the new road and extensive public realm. The River Taff footbridge is at the far right of this image. Image: Christopher Tipping

This area was the site of the former Ynysfach Ironworks, owned and run by the Crawshay Family of Cyfarthfa Ironworks. The new road seen running through the site  above almost follows the path of the former Glamorganshire Canal, which was fully opennd in 1794 and declined progressively between 1898 & 1951. Much of the Canal route is now buried beneath the A470 Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil Truck Rd.

The view upstream from the River Taff Footbridge. towards the Civic Centre.  Image: Christopher Tipping

The view upstream from the River Taff Footbridge. towards the Civic Centre. Image: Christopher Tipping

Where the River Taff meanders to the left in the above image and turns the corner, was the site of the Ynysgau Iron Bridge, one of the first Cast Iron Bridges built anywhere in the world, started in 1799 & completed in 1800. The bridge was designed and built by Watkins George, a brilliant engineer working for Richard Crawshay of Cyfarthfa Ironworks, known as the Iron King. The bridge was constructed for the workforce to cross the Taff to reach the Ironworks. It was dismantled in 1963 and is now stored by Merthyr Tydfil CBC.

Sections and details of the Ynysgau Iron Bridge, dismantled in 1963 and now stored by Merthyr Tydfil CBC. Image: Christopher Tipping

Sections and details of the Ynysgau Iron Bridge, dismantled in 1963 and now stored by Merthyr Tydfil CBC. Image: Christopher Tipping

Communications and advances in transport were critical factors behind the expansion of Iron production during the Industrial Revolution.  Natural water supplies found in the Taff and its tributaries & streams provided the source of power, but this had to be managed and controlled. Innovation and technological advances were the powerhouses.

Merthyr Tydfil may  no  longer claim to be the Iron Capitol of the world, but transport and innovation continues to be the catalyst for change in the area.

The River Taff footbridge crosses just below the weir from the College to St Tydfils Shopping Centre. Image: Christopher Tipping

The River Taff footbridge crosses just below the weir from the College to St Tydfils Shopping Centre. Image: Christopher Tipping

The footbridge was built in the early 1970's but wasn't always covered. The bridge spans not only the River Taff, but the Avenue de Clichy & Wilkinson's Carpark . Image: Christopher Tipping

The footbridge was built in the early 1970’s but wasn’t always covered. The bridge spans not only the River Taff, but the Avenue de Clichy & Wilkinson’s Carpark . Image: Christopher Tipping

Looking downstream from the footbridge the views change between retail carpark, highway and river. Image: Christopher Tipping

Looking downstream from the footbridge the views change between retail carpark, highway and river. Image: Christopher Tipping

This distinct zoning of views as one crosses the bridge could also change considerable during the year. It’s a great feature from where to see the town  – its downfall being that it isn’t particularly good to look at ! A new footbridge would have the potential to exploit this fact too and make the most of the opportunities presented.

 

 

 

 

 

Station Quarter North, Southampton

Station Quarter North, Southampton

If you would like some background information on the contextual research which was done to help shape the project, take a look at this short film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzwx8UP4tmk

The film was put together by Wilson Massie of Balfour Beatty Living Places for the project client, Southampton City Council. – I’m not much of a screen presence, but the information and visuals are interesting !

Film Credit: Wilson Massie for Balfour Beatty Living Places and Southampton City Council

These were the brilliant guys on the ground who installed the Canal Shore works - Martin Miller & Jay Geary of Balfour Beatty. Image: Wilson Massie, Balfour Beatty Living Places

These were the brilliant guys on the ground who installed the Canal Shore works – Martin Miller & Jay Geary of Balfour Beatty. Image: Wilson Massie, Balfour Beatty Living Places

Central Chelmsford – Large Platform Seat

25th November 2014

More images in today from  Hardscape detailing the manufacture of the large platform seat for Central Chelmsford.

Sandblasted granite seat by Christopher Tipping & Hardscape for Central Chelmsford. Image: Hardscape

Sandblasted granite seat by Christopher Tipping & Hardscape for Central Chelmsford. Image: Hardscape

Vinyl plotted with the design is applied to the granite slab before sandblasting.

Vinyl plotted with the design is applied to the granite slab before sandblasting.

AS the process continues, the vinyl is stripped away to reveal areas to be sandblasted.

AS the process continues, the vinyl is stripped away to reveal areas to be sandblasted.

The process is a skilled & precise one for Vlad to undertake. The slabs cannot be moved easily, so he has to move around the work.

The process is a skilled & precise one for Vlad to undertake. The slabs cannot be moved easily, so he has to move around the work.

Sandblasted granite seat by Christopher Tipping & Hardscape for Central Chelmsford. Image: Hardscape

The sandblast is no more than 2mm deep across the slab. The fine honed finish on the surface will be retained under the vinyl which still covers the letters.

The sandblast is no more than 2mm deep across the slab. The fine honed finish on the surface will be retained under the vinyl which still covers the letters.

Sandblasted granite seat by Christopher Tipping & Hardscape for Central Chelmsford. Image: Hardscape

Sandblasted granite seat by Christopher Tipping & Hardscape for Central Chelmsford. Image: Hardscape

The fine work is excellent. All the vinyl stencil which has been plotted and cut has to be weeded out by hand for sandblasting.

The four granite slabs which make up the large platform seat awaiting more sandblasting outside.

The four granite slabs which make up the large platform seat awaiting more sandblasting outside.

Sandblasted granite seat by Christopher Tipping & Hardscape for Central Chelmsford. Image: Hardscape

Sandblasted granite seat by Christopher Tipping & Hardscape for Central Chelmsford. Image: Hardscape

Sandblasted granite seat by Christopher Tipping & Hardscape for Central Chelmsford. Image: Hardscape

Granite slabs completed. When wet the granite will become almost uniformly dark. As the surface dries, the images and text will begin to reveal themselves. The areas with no sandblasting or shallow detail will dry out first.

Granite slabs completed. When wet the granite will become almost uniformly dark. As the surface dries, the images and text will begin to reveal themselves. The areas with no sandblasting or shallow detail will dry out first.

Sandblasted granite seat by Christopher Tipping & Hardscape for Central Chelmsford. Image: Hardscape