Armstrong Bell Landscape Design was commissioned to provide a Landscape and Open Space Masterplan, Management Plan and Public Art Strategy for Rochester Riverside. The plans set the standard and reflect the aspirations for the new 27 hectare neighbourhood on the River Medway including a 2.5km River Walk and two new parks.
Historic Rochester sits on higher land overlooking the site which was formerly grazing marshland, later colonised by ship building and industry until 1984 when the site became redundant. The landscape character of the marshes, the marine landscape in decay and the historic town inspired the landscape design.
The River Walk is a linear green space which links St Clement’s Park and Crescent Park. Angled stone walls at the back of the walk retain sculpted mounds reminiscent of the earth fortifications associated with the local naval history.
St Clement’s Park is enclosed with sculptural earth embankments, planted with native ornamental grasses in memory of the site as grazing marshland. A core ten water wall, a glass wall and timber deck, provide a focal point and recall materials found on the marshes.
Crescent Park links historic Rochester with the River Medway via a processional route. A semi-circular grass bowl slopes down to the fore-shore in a series of stone and grass steps. A board walk leads down to a timber stage at the river’s edge for festivals and events including the Charles Dickens Festival.
Client : Medway Council & SEEDA
Landscape Architects : Armstrong Bell Landscape Design
Landscape Managers : Land Management Services
Public Art Consultants : Artwise
Date : 2006-2008