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Farrell's £180m cement works will be 'like a mini-city'

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A bold industrial design of tower, cylinder and inverted cone forms (right) has been drawn up by Terry Farrell and Partners and sent for planning consent.

The £180 million cement works for Blue Circle Industries will include cement silo drums, a preheater tower and storage spaces, and a water treatment plant. The number of different parts of the mainly reinforced-concrete complex will make it like a 'mini city', said one of the architects, Tim Thompson. The new plant will be called Medway Works and stand near a quarry in Holborough in Kent.

The 500m2 main cement plant will be 55m high, and surrounded by a scatter of stores, kilns and conveyor belts.

'There are two main vertical elements, the heater and cement towers,' said Thompson. 'We wanted the largest element, the heater tower, to be a landscape marker, like a cathedral spire. We have made no attempt to hide or disguise forms, and have tried to keep geometry simple, with rectangles, cones and cylinders.'

It will be coloured light grey to blend with the chalk landscape, with earthy yellow highlights to break up the mass and reinforce compositional arrangements.

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