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FIRST LOOK

Charles Holland Architects designs art and architecture trail markers

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The markers are part of the CHALKUP21 art and architecture trail along the east Kent coast which includes buildings by Níall McLaughlin, Tonkin Liu and van Heyningen & Haward

Charles Holland Architects has designed a series of markers on the east Kent coast. Dover Arts Development commissioned the practice to design the markers as part of CHALKUP21, a newly launched 17-mile art and architecture trail between Capel-le-Ferne and Deal. The trail features nine recently completed buildings and artworks, including the Deal Pier Café by Níall Mclaughlin Architects and the White Cliffs Visitor Centre by van Heyningen & Haward Architects. 

Pines calyx in situ copy

Pines calyx in situ copy

Each marker is cast in bronze and takes the form of a circular plaque that has been distorted on one side to describe the profile of the coastal route that the trail follows. With a depth of 45mm, this profile is extruded to suggest the cliff edge that runs along much of the coast.

Each of the nine works is marked in its position so that the plaques form a three-dimensional map of the area. In the centre of each one is a description of the particular building or artwork which it marks.

The trail locations are highly exposed and subject to sea spray so the markers are designed to age and show the effects of this weathering. They will start out polished but will eventually patinate to a greenish-blue. 

The markers were cast locally at the Spacer foundry in Ramsgate. Timber forms were cast into baby pink rubber moulds which in turn were used to make deep-green wax casts. The first marker has been installed, while the others are due to be in place by the end of April.

Architects view

CHALKUP21 is an important project because it draws attention to nine very recent examples of art and architecture in a historic and highly sensitive landscape. We are familiar with marking and celebrating historic sites and buildings of interest. CHALKUP21 provocatively sets out to challenge this and celebrates the ones we make today.

Charles Holland, Charles Holland Architects

Dad chalkup21 map

Dad chalkup21 map

Project data 

Start on site/fabrication November 2017
Completion March 2018
Form of contract Artist’s contract
Construction cost £5,000
Architect/designer  Charles Holland Architects
Client Dover Arts Development 
Fabricator Spacer

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