• Community Project, Sevenoaks, Kent

    Shape Architecture is currently working on the redevelopment and landscaping of a prominent street corner in Greatness, Sevenoaks, Kent. Working with the Greatness Residents’ Association, we have worked hard to design a scheme that will improve the existing corner – a prominent road junction – and create an attractive area in which to sit and meet that acts as a gateway to the community.

    Community Architecture
    The brief for the project called for areas of planting, areas for walking and cycling, seating, as well as the option to include a large feature sign that will catch the eye and create an attractive and notable site within the local area. Situated outside two commercial units on a sloping site, the site takes in a large amount of paving and asphalt that is currently used as a way for pedestrians to cut the corner. Our design completely remodels the entire corner, introducing a circular seating area that is complemented by a raised area of tiered grass that flanks the road along the site. Two small trees will be planted on these grass tiers, growing over time to provide the people of Greatness with shade on the exposed street corner.

    Landmark Landscaping in Kent
    Between the seating and the tiered grass comes a path, beautifully realised in bonded gravel and neatly bisecting the two main areas. A lower level of planting comes between the tiers of grass and the edge of the site, where a sleek concrete wall has risen to take a dynamic form and now sits proudly with its highest point at the apex of the site. On this wall it is planned that a feature sign would sit, created by a local artist and clearly signalling the name of the area, possibly realised in concrete or cor-ten steel. This sign would become a local landmark, instantly recognisable to all.

    Community Gateway Project
    On the other side of the path, and near the bus stop that already exists on site, three more planters in the radial style established in the plan so far step their way towards the road, enclosed in the fair-face concrete walls that tie the scheme together. Behind them, the landscaping curves down past the planted area that surrounds the existing post box and reaches the steps that raise the level once again behind the retaining wall and create a platform suitable for getting into one of the two stores. Also surfaced in bonded gravel, this path then slopes back down gradually to the bottom of the site, where it joins up with the main path through and past the seating area.

    Architecture for Cyclists
    Along the back wall of the site, a flagstoned area is held separate from the bonded gravel path with a row of brick edging. Next to the advertising board, a row of cycle racks is placed, providing the users of the site with a place to safely lock their bikes, encouraging active lifestyles.

    Computer Modelling
    As architects specialising in the provision of community projects, Shape Architecture is able to bring a wide range of design and technical expertise to each project. In this project, as with other community projects, we have undertaken a lot of work investigating with 3D models the potential held in the site. We spent a long time modelling the various possibilities and intricacies of the challenging site, and are confident that this design represent the best scheme going forwards for the users of the site, and the people of Greatness