Rochester Riverside  

Screenshot 2019 02 08 16.24.41

FrancisKnight produced a public art strategy, which formed part of the planning submission for the £400 million development for Rochester Riverside, and are currently working with the commissioned artists on Phase 1 and 2 of this exciting project with Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd and The Hyde Group. 

The development adjoins Rochester's historic town centre and the railway station, and will consist of up to 1,400 homes, of which 25% will be affordable housing, transforming the 74-acre (30 hectare) site by providing a new primary school, nursery, hotel, bar and restaurant, gym, healthcare facilities, office space and a number of retail units, together with 10 acres of open space including a 2.5km riverside walk. 

Artists commissioned by FrancisKnight will work closely with the design teams to fully integrate and embed the public art, which will encompass permanent and temporary artworks that act as focal points and functional landmarks to engage the community.   

 

Artist Katayoun Dowlatshahi has been appointed to work with the landscape architects LUC on a landscape and furniture commission.  

Katayoun creates work for public and private commissions and specialises in photography, drawing, architectural glass and time-based media.  She has successfully integrated contemporary art into a variety of landscapes, public spaces, regeneration projects and urban environments.  Her practice is rooted in printmaking in the broadest sense.  She has developed an interdisciplinary approach to her work: context and site specificity are always integral and are also motivating factors when researching commissions.  Photography is a constant in her work, often deconstructed and combined with other materials to produce fascinatng results.

The landscape and furniture commission looks at contributing and exploring alternative uses of scheme elements from hard landscaping to street furniture. Inspired by the environmental history of the site and its current ecological credentials Katayoun's work integrates abstracted images of marshland grasses, conveying movement and light onto bespoke cast Portland Stone benches and defined walls.  These can be found in Station Square and along the River Walk.

"I have been very inspired by the notion of the "Creeks and Streets" concept first coined by the regeneration bid for Rochester Riverside.  The river is central to the Medway way of life for humans as well as all sea, air and land creatures.  The ecosystem is both a fragile and robust system that fascinates in equal measure.  This commission has been an opportunity to explore the relationship of water with land, grasslands with marsh-lands, wind and movement.  To find out about the precious ecology of the Medway and to raise awareness of its special qualities".  Katayoun Dowlatshahi.

To complement the Portland Cast Stone benches similar grass motifs and overlapping designs will feature at the breakout junctions along the River Walk.  Steps would lead directly into these areas.  Eleven unique images will be laser engraved across the three full height oak sleepers that make up each revetment.