Rochester Esplanade, Kent
Client: Rochester Bridge Trust
Designer(s): Barker Langham
Contractors: FM Conway Ltd
Manufacturer: IP Surfaces Ltd
Supplier: Hardscape Products Ltd
The Rochester Bridge Trust are planning to celebrate the history of the crossing over the river Medway between Rochester and Strood. A crossing that has existed in this location since Roman times. The Trust has preserved and maintained the crossing since its foundations in 1399. The vision is to provide an area of active public realm on the Rochester Esplanade, adjacent to the current crossing by interpreting each of the bridges that have existed on this site.
Hardscape were appointed to complete the production of 9, each unique and bespoke, European granite benches and associated embellished elements together with a granite footway plaque and wall plaque. Having won the project via Tender process, Hardscape became the official partnered adviser and producer via their manufacturer IP Surfaces and set about making many test samples to trial various materials, finishes and techniques all of which were meticulous in design requiring thorough consultation and collaboration to fulfil a 12-month period of detailed design and production.
The complexity and intricacy in some of the techniques used throughout the process was an absolute testament to the skilled craftsmen and technology afforded within IP Surfaces. Detailed etching, exacting inlays of lettering, precision painting and trialling of materials such as brass set into an epoxy resin block and a cast bronze crest were all undertaken. The journey allowed the client to gain complete satisfaction and confidence with the production process. This is very typical of how IP Surfaces approach and fulfil these types of in-depth projects.
As part of the Trust’s commitment to the local community a group of students from various colleges from the Rochester area undertook an educational visit to our facilities to see for themselves the incredible project in the making whilst listening to a presentation from MD, Mathew Haslam.
Installation of the benches, one of which is 3.5 metres in length, was fully installed and completed in Spring 2021.