Kent School of Architecture to discuss the regeneration of Intra Historic High Street

On Friday 4 November, representatives from Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) at the University will participate in a symposium to address the sustainable regeneration of the area that sits between Rochester High Street and Chatham High Street – known as the ‘Intra Historic High Street’.

The ‘Sun Pier to Star Hill Placemaking Symposium ’is part of a three-year project to help determine the future of this important stretch of historic High Street where Rochester and Chatham meet. The project is funded by Historic England, and led by Medway Council, who have appointed HTA Design Consultants to undertake a ‘Significance Led Design Framework’ for the locality. KSAP have been invited to collaborate in the process, and are running a parallel set of design projects that provide an academic lens on the project, valuable primary research, and inspiring visionary proposals.

The symposium, which takes place between 10:00 and 16:30 at St John’s Church in Chatham, is free and open to all but registration is required.

Attended by a variety of researchers, designers and consultants involved in developing the placemaking proposals, the symposium aims to set up a forum for conversation and dialogue about the future development of the wider Intra space and will help inform the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the area, anticipated for publication in 2024.

This important policy document will provide a case study that promotes a creative and collaborative approach to regeneration of High Streets. This style of practice model pioneers a progressive and integrated approach to placemaking – one that is community-based, ground-up, inclusive, and supports diversity in all its forms. The ambition is to create connections across traditional divides and initiate fruitful and positive dialogue that supports real impact.

As part of the symposium, a public exhibition will showcase the work of 14 KSAP MArch Architecture students, two of whom will be presenting their design proposals for the area to the public. In addition, over 100 Stage 3 Architecture students will attend the public event to help support the development of their own design proposals – which will be presented in Summer 2023 at the Ebb & Flow Festival.

Chloe Street-Tarbatt, Head of Kent School of Architecture and Planning, said: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for the School to be involved in a live project, allowing our students to benefit from this rich real-world experience and develop an understanding of the complex mechanics behind placemaking. It is also an opportunity for the client to benefit from the wide-ranging research that our students undertake, and to take some inspiration from their blue-sky and visionary proposals. It is very exciting for our students to be involved in the development of a policy document that will inform the future of this historic and unique section of High Street, connecting Rochester and Chatham.’

Raimonds Baukerts, one of Kent’s MArch students, who is presenting at the exhibition said: ‘I am incredibly excited to present “Intra Play” at the symposium. The project proposes temporary interventions along the high street designed to encourage people of all ages to play with, reconnecting with themselves and their surroundings. Working on a live project has been an exciting two-way conversation; the design process has been enriched by its setting within a framework, and in turn I hope the project encourages a paradigm shift in how policy-makers think about holistic wellbeing in the urban environment.’

Kent School of Architecture and Planning is based on the Canterbury campus of UoK; it has a range of innovative undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, studio-based teaching, professional links and excellent facilities that combine to create an inspirational learning environment.

Chloe Street-Tarbatt is Head of Kent School of Architecture and Planning. She is a registered architect and a senior lecturer. Chloe is interested in the psychology of space and how we can create environments that improve human interaction and quality of life through both their spatial organisation and material properties. She has a particular interest in working on architectural projects that bring communities together and play a larger social role in society and has been pursuing these objectives through the development of ‘Live Projects’ forging strategic links with local practice and regional authorities and showcasing student work through public exhibitions.

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