Command of the Oceans Chatham, Kent

Command of the Oceans Chatham, Medway Building, Architecture, Architect, News, Photos

Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard

Kent Educational Building, Kent, England – design by Baynes and Mitchell Architects

27 Jul 2017
Command of the Oceans in Chatham Shortlisted for the Wood Awards 2017

Twenty outstanding structures have been nominated for the Wood Awards 2017 shortlist, featuring some of Britain’s best architectural designs in wood. The judging panel was led by architect Michael Morrison of Purcell.

The shortlist will be showcased at the London Design Fair (Stand B05, Hall T2), Old Truman Brewery, 21st-24th September

Wood Award Shortlisting for Command of the Oceans, Chatham

In 1995, the timbers of an unknown ship were discovered beneath the Historic Dockyard Chatham. Hailed as the most significant naval archaeological discovery since the Mary Rose, they became the focal point for a project that aimed to preserve and interpret the dockyard’s history. The scheduled monuments have been renovated and adapted for gallery, catering and retail spaces.

A new visitor entrance building, knitted between the existing buildings connects hospitality areas with exhibition spaces and an under-croft gallery to view the timbers. The primary structure of elegant glu-laminated timber columns and trusses complements the heavy oak structures of the surrounding listed buildings.

Location: Historic Dockyard Chatham
Architect: Baynes and Mitchell Architects
Client/Owner: Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust
Structural Engineer: Price & Myers
M&E Engineers: Skelly & Couch
Experiential Design: Land Design Studio
Project Management: Artelia UK
Main Contractor/Builder: W W Martin
Joinery Company & Wood Supplier: Egoin
Wood Species: German Whitewood Spruce

21 Jul 2017

Command of the Oceans, Chatham Historic Dockyard Building

Location: Chatham, Kent, southeast England

Design: Baynes and Mitchell Architects

Command of the Oceans, Chatham Historic Dockyard Building

Command of the Oceans, Chatham Historic Dockyard, Chatham by Baynes and Mitchell Architects
photos : Hélène Binet

Client: Chatham Historic Dockyard
Awards: RIBA South East Award 2017, RIBA South East Conservation Award 2017 and RIBA South East Building of the Year 2017 and RIBA National Award 2017

Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard

This project is a champion for progressive conservation, inventive re-use and adaptation of existing fabric. The importance of the historic fabric has been clearly understood, which has allowed freedom in other areas to change the circulation and the reading of the buildings to give the whole complex of buildings a new lease of life.

Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard

The striking new visitor entrance, clad in black zinc, knits together the historic fabric to either side. The decision to use black cladding rather than a white structure which would match existing, and the decision not to mimic the pitch of the existing roofs, was a bold move in conservation terms and very successful.

Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard

The modest entrance is immediately obvious to the visitor on arrival in the large car park, which sits above the old mast pond; and yet in certain lights it seems to disappear and becomes very much subservient to the adjacent listed structures. This inventive solution to create a raised entrance with associated ramp won Baynes and Mitchell the architectural competition, and unlocks the whole plan.

Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard

The cathedral-like quality of the entrance hall, with its focus on the end view over the dockyard, is very successful. The museum element of the scheme which tells the history of the dockyard is designed around a route which ultimately leads to the hidden timbers of the unknown ship beneath the floorboards. This sense of discovery and the decision to leave the timbers in situ is a very powerful move.

Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard

The project is academically rigorous in terms of repairs, reversibility and selection of new materials and is a delightful new addition to the historic dockyard. The project exhibits careful and critical use of appropriate repairs. Successful engagement with specialist craftsmen and sensitive repairs, such as the scarfing of the main timbers in the mast house, adds to the beauty of the refurbished spaces.

Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard

Internally, the existing buildings were assessed in terms of their significance and this informed the hierarchy and extent of the new interventions. Baynes and Mitchell have also fully engaged with the impact of the proposals in terms of the archaeology of the site and an appropriate means of responding to the concept of ‘as found’ presentation.

Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard

The palette of black metal, blue limestone, board-marked concrete and composite timber has been carefully chosen in response to the strong, industrial language of the historic buildings and landscape.
This project has benefited greatly from an enlightened client who is committed to making the story of the dockyard accessible to the visitor.

Command of the Oceans Chatham building plan

This deep understanding of the historical significance of this group of buildings has been fully understood by the architect and interpreted in a way to reveal significant features of the historic landscape. This is a Heritage Lottery Funded project and Historic England was closely involved in a very collaborative way.

Command of the Oceans Chatham location plan

Command of the Oceans Chatham section

Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard – Building Information

Contractor: Raymond Brown Construction Limited, Fairhurst Ward Abbotts and WW Martin
Project Management: Artelia UK
Quantity Surveyor: Robert Dolllin & Co Ltd
M&E Engineer: Skelly & Couch
Experiential Designer: Land Design Studio
Structural & Civil Engineers: Price & Myers
Lighting Design Studio: ZNA
Conservation Consultants: Ptolemy Dean Architect
Access Consultant: Ann Sawyer Access Design
Archaeologists: Wessex Archaeology
Internal Area: 2,750 m²

Command of the Oceans Chatham plan

Command of the Oceans Chatham building layout

Photographs © Hélène Binet

Drawings © Baynes and Mitchell Architects

Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard Building images / information from RIBA

Stirling Prize 2017 Shortlist

Website: Command of the Oceans – Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust


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Chatham Buildings

University of Kent Building
Design: RMJM Architects
Medway Building
image courtesy of architects

University of Kent Building in Chatham – 17 Mar 2008: Civic Trust Award

No. 1 Smithery, Chatham
Design: van Heyningen and Haward Architects
No. 1 Smithery
photo © James Brittain

No. 1 Smithery Chatham, Historic Dockyard Building Kent

English Architecture Design – chronological list

Kent Buildings – Selection

Turner Contemporary Gallery, Margate
David Chipperfield Architects
Turner Contemporary Gallery
image © David Chipperfield Architects

Kent gallery building

Quarterhouse Performing Arts and Business Centre, Folkestone
Alison Brooks Architects
Kent arts centre
photo : Dennis Gilbert

Quarterhouse Folkestone

Café, Deal Pier
Niall McLaughlin Architects
Deal Pier Cafe
picture from architect

Deal Pier Cafe

Website: Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard – RIBA page

Comments / photos for the Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard Building – Medway Architecture page welcome

Command of the Oceans Chatham Historic Dockyard – page

Website: England