Rochester Station Public Art Commission

Rochester Station

If you haven’t been along to Rochester Station yet, you won’t have seen the beautiful art work that adorns the new Station development.

FrancisKnight were appointed by Network Rail and Medway Council to work with artist Dr Katayoun Dowlatshahi on the Rochester Station Public Art Commission.

Katayoun’s inspiration is based on the history and architecture of Rochester, including the Cathedral and the Rochester Bridge Trust. The Station glass is wrapped with vibrant vinyl images that offer glimpses of Rochester’s greatest assets and create a sense of welcoming to passengers using the station.

Glass manifestations punctuate the doors and depict two seals that have been taken from a stained glass window in the Bridge Chamber.

Artwork will also be installed in the subway in the New Year depicting maps and journeys and will help to establish the link between the future Rochester Riverside developments and the new station quarter.

New Developments for Maidstone?

Louise and I went along to the Kent Construction Focus Group Breakfast meeting this week. It’s a great chance to network and listen to the guest speakers. You also get a very good full English Breakfast too!!

On the agenda this time was Paul Spooner, Interim Director of Planning & Development from Maidstone Borough Council.

He presented the up and coming projects that are earmarked for Maidstone and how the Borough Council now has all the strategies in place in order to get on with delivering against these. The listed schemes that will be coming on include Maidstone East Station, the gyratory system, a heritage quarter and the Enterprise Zone to name but a few. Local companies should benefit from these developments he mentioned and it was encouraging to hear that local architects have been involved in the masterplanning.

What is not so clear is how Maidstone Borough Council will encourage the quality of the build, the sense of place and environment that Maidstone needs in order to up its game. Our best asset the river is unfortunately underused and any opportunities for creative interventions in the town seem to be unrecognised or pulled due to lack of money. Quality public ream reflects the character and originality of a place and the people that live, work and play within it. There’s more to Maidstone then just shopping and with all the future developments Section 106 contributions could be utilised to address this.

Let’s hope that this positive air of change will benefit the town centre and surrounding areas. Unfortunately Paul Spooner’s interim contract will be over by end of February. Who picks up the gauntlet then?

Pujji Memorial Wins Award

We are extremely proud to announce that the Pujji Memorial by artist Douglas Jennings has won The Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture 2015. As part of the award's ten year anniversary two 2015 winners were announced; Douglas Jennings and Sir Anthony Gormley. The award recognises the best sculpture or monument installed within the last two years in a public space, enabling people to engage with this art form.

IN-SITE Public Art Project Wins Award!!

IN-SITE Award

IN-SITE Public Art Project wins Visual Arts Category at Medway’s Culture, Design & Tourism Awards 2015

We spent a fantastic evening at the awards ceremony last night, which was held at Mid Kent College, Gillingham. Against a strong shortlist of projects and individuals we are very proud to announce the IN-SITE Public Art Project won the Visual Arts category in the Culture, Design and Tourism Awards. Huge congratulations goes to the artists Jane Pitt, Caitlin Heffernan, Stuart Bowditch, Christopher Sacre, Nicola Flower and Daisy Farris. Also thanks go to Katayoun Dowlatshai, Robyn Goldsmith, Alice Waller, Arts Council England, The Growing Places Fund and Unlimited. Plus all the other artists involved including Maria Coombes & Mark Barnes.

Creative Led Regeneration

Kent Construction Expo 2015

It was an early start Wednesday morning as we attended the business networking breakfast run by Kent Construction Focus Group and listened to an inspiring talk by Wayne Hemmingway on creative led regeneration.

He spoke about the first housing development he worked on in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear with Taylor Wimpey: The layout of the Wimpey/Hemingway collaboration is essentially a section of mixed terrace houses with private gardens grouped around courtyards that are interlinked with pedestrian walkways behind. They have communal facilities: sandpits, barbecues, a playground, ping pong tables and bicycle parking.

He spoke about being brave and challenging – so here are his top ten regeneration tips.

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