Introduction to the Analysis
In order to create a distinctive character for all the varied and sometimes disparate areas within the Ebbsfleet Garden City, the context of the wider Ebbsfleet locality was studied in detail.
The overriding characteristic that unites the Ebbsfleet Garden City area is the dramatic topography. To the north is the Thames and the Ebbsfleet River tributary and to the south are the slopes of the North Downs. Alongside are man-made topographic features created over centuries, in the form of chalk cliffs, hollows and lakes.
The analysis of the historic built context highlights a number of relevant themes:
Local historic villages - the layout and density of the historic centre of local villages and the form, detailing and materials of the dwellings.
Distinctive buildings - there are a number of historic examples: buildings on a ridge or hill; distinctive buildings that look across the landscape and historic farmsteads.
River and industry - the River Thames is a key influence on the locality, in providing trade links and stimulating the growth of industry across the Ebbsfleet area, particularly the excavation of chalk.
Defined settlements - from Roman settlements, to the historic centre of Gravesend, to historic buildings such as Ingress Abbey - all demonstrate a geometrically ordered layout.
Marshland - is a key characteristic of the Thames valley. Defensive forts of a defined geometry are located along the Thames (and Medway) on the edge or within marshland.