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Nautically Inspired Plans Sail Into Gravesend

Gravesend Heritage Quarter is a new development for the port town in Kent in what is a joint venture between property company Edinburgh House and local Gravesham Council aimed at exploiting some of the momentum the Thames Gateway offers.

Coming from the pens of Leslie Jones Architects, the project features 1,000 square metres of new offices, 12,000 square metres of general retail space, 2,000 square metres of new space for leisure and restaurants, and 600 apartments including many in a tower.

It rises to 34 storeys tall which should come in at over 100 metres if average floor to ceiling heights are to be used as a measure. The tall building is inspired directly by sails that have played such a strong part in Gravesend's history. By twisting and manipulating the classic form of a sailing ship, the architect has turned the tower into a curving blade-like design similar to a sail pitching into the wind.

Dominated by sleek lines, the heavy use of glass cladding on almost the entire building should lend it a constantly changing appearance depending on the weather that's reflected on it - a simple solution for naturally texturing the facades and bringing them to life.

Numbering 600, apartments make up a substantial component of the redevelopment although only 10% of the affordable housing will be provided on site with the remaining 20% to be situated elsewhere.

Redevelopment of the Gravesend Heritage Quarter is bound to be contentious amongst some, not least as the tower will stand on Upper St Andrews Gardens that is currently public space.

The developers are hoping that increases elsewhere, improved access to the banks of the River Thames, and a new town square which in total will see a 50% growth in public space above what is on offer now, will tempt the naysayers into supporting the project.

Another move that's clearly aimed more at winning people over than making the development sustainable is the increase in the amount of parking on offer with 300 additional car spaces to be built raising the total to 1,280.

Taking into account the current hardening economic conditions, the developers still expect the first phase of the scheme to be completed in 2011 although a concrete finish date is anyone's guess.

Article Related buildings:

Gravesend Heritage Quarter Landmark Building

Gravesend Heritage Quarter Landmark Building
Gravesend Heritage Quarter, Kent
Gravesend Heritage Quarter, Kent