Inspired by the new Esplanade by London-based architects Tonkin Liu and the newly commissioned North Downs Way End of Trail Marker by artist Alma Tischler Wood, both on Dover’s seafront, Dover Arts Development (DAD) asked photographer Nigel Green to explore the trail and document some other interesting examples of 20th and 21st Century architecture. These have been highlighted on a new guide – a PDF of which is available under DOWNLOADS in the left margin. In addition, an interactive guide has been created on Google, providing the exact location of all sites and some extra information here
The North Downs Way is known for its Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as buildings and places of the ancient pilgrimage route. There are maps that feature these aspects of the trail but none that highlight buildings of stylistic ambition from the last 100 years. Allan Atlee, Associate Dean and Head of Architecture at the University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, writes: “Like all good guides, Nigel Green’s selection of buildings and landmarks provides a structured way of experiencing our journey, framing our understanding and appreciation of its character and heritage. Often dismissed or overlooked in any appraisal of the extraordinary built heritage of the region, the architecture and engineering highlighted here speaks to an optimistic future, ever-present in the ideals and legacies of modernist design. If we understand the sum total of our built heritage as the accumulated infrastructure that supports our public and private lives, it is worth considering what quality of public life is proposed in these projects. They suggest an openness to change and an embrace of new ideas and technologies. As we continue to transform our landscapes and towns in the future, the accumulated spirit of these projects reminds us that we have the responsibility not only to protect all that is best from the past, but to also build new possibilities and futures.”
DAD hopes that this map will encourage those interested in contemporary and modernist architecture to walk the trail and add to the appreciation of the urban areas for others. A free printed pocket-sized version of this guide is also available from the Sea Sports Centre on Dover’s seafront.
Creating a lasting legacy of the regeneration of the area funded through Sea Change Dover: The Sea Change funding programme from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) is supported in Dover through the following funding partners: Kent County Council, Dover District Council, English Heritage, Dover Harbour Board, and South East England Development Agency. Additional funding for the North Downs Way End of Trail Marker programme was given by Natural England and the Eastern and Coastal Kent Primary Care Trust.
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