Horsted Park | Proctor and Matthews | Chatham, Kent

  • architects: Proctor and Matthews
  • 8 ha
  • the overarching development consists of 337 new dwellings supported by retail, commercial, Extra Care accommodation and community facilities

From the authors:

  • mixed-use, mixed-tenure development
  • set in a suburban context
  • drawing inspiration from the area’s local heritage, the spatial composition of this new neighbourhood explores the variation, intimacy and surprise often found in the spatial enclosures of surrounding Kentish villages.
  • the design creates an environment that has its own unique sense of place, but also feels familiar to its surrounds.
  • in direct response to the site’s semi-rural setting, Proctor and Matthews took the opportunity to develop a series of new housing typologies which, take their cue from the rural vernacular of Kent’s agricultural buildings

Housing typologies and the composition:

  • apartment blocks are designed and arranged to resemble local farmsteads
  • ‘courtyard’ homes are designed to resemble smaller farmstead barns
  • clusters of detached and semi-detached dwellings are arranged and designed to resemble local farmsteads
  • consisting of a range of two to four bedroom ‘courtyard’ homes, these two to three storey dwellings are arranged with side gardens in order to take advantage of a southern orientation and also provide passive surveillance over public realm areas
  • courtyard homes are arranged around shared courtyards or ‘yards’ creating a focal point for more intimate neighbourhood groupings and sense of enclosure within the wider masterplan.
  • the composition of buildings, access routes and open spaces have been arranged to sensitively respond to the site’s surrounding context
  • along the northern boundary of the development is an alignment of two storey semi-detached dwellings used to reinforce the geometry of the Fort’s moat. Set-back 10m from the boundary edge, these terrace houses are not only provided with a generous amount of private outdoors amenity space, but also provide a method of securing and protecting the moat from public access.
  • the sites’ massing strategy provides a gradual transition from the site’s more urban edge towards the west and its more rural edge towards the east
  • apartment blocks towards the west provide a more course grain, whilst courtyard houses towards the site’s east provide a finer grain
  • a cluster of taller four storey buildings at the centre of the site provides a townscape marker and focal point for the development. They contain Extra Care accommodation, a retail space and a range of community spaces that include offices and a flexible hall space to be shared by local groups
  • additional commercial spaces are also located towards the site’s southwest corner taking advantage of exposure from Maidstone Road


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