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PROJECT HISTORY Strood is a town in Kent, on the river Medway, just across from the ancient town of Rochester. A neighborhood on the north bank of the river, locally known as Strood Riverside, is about 7 hectares. It consists, at present, of broken down industry, a few houses, an old and very nice pub, Strood railway station, and a number of small businesses, and some poorly built social housing from the 1950s. The area has been earmarked for redevelopment by Medway council.

The present area of Strood Riverside, and views across the Medway towards Rochester

POINTS OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THIS PROJECT One of the most startling aspects of the project, was the assumption made by Medway Council, that they would clear the site, and sweep all existing businesses away, so as to give an incoming developer a tabular rasa for profit making in a monoculture of housing only.

It was our considered opinion, after talking to various small business owners (including a boat builder, a crane driving business, a tire-shop, automobile repair, the Tavern, a small construction company), many of whom were threatened with the end of their business lives if swept away, were an essential and necessary part of the community which was to be built, and our views on the code, and on the plan as we developed it, was that these businesses had to be viewed as the nucleus of the new community, and had to be allowed to keep the space they had previously occupied.

The social difficulty of convincing both the council, and the financing companies of this approach was considerable. However, we believe it imperative to stop destroying communities all over the world, because the mix of uses is not convenient to rapacious developers.

Above: Aerial photograph of the strood riverside area.
Right: railway arches on the western boundary of the site.

Below: Bird's eye view of the whole Strood
Riverside neighborhood, as proposed by us.

FURTHER DISCUSSIONS OF THE GENERATIVE CODE FOR STROOD First generative code for the stepwise conception and layout of the new Strood Riverside neighborhood
3 pages

Second version generative code for Strood, showing the sequential unfolding of the neighborhood plan from this code.

Below, the project we prepared for Medway council. The organization of the site favors pedestrian layout, includes very substantial green common areas between houses, abundant views directly to the river. Houses are arranged in long frontage cottage buildings, with excellent light and sunlight. The various businesses existing now are (with only one exception) included in the layout seemingly odd (and archaic) layout of this plan (shown right), comes from the direct application of the generative sequence. It has the effect that each important building is placed to be the focus of a well-shaped spatial center.

established 1967
established 2005