Introducing Ebbsfleet’s Design Narratives

The study details four design narratives, each of which has been developed to respond to the specific topographical characteristics of an area of Ebbsfleet, and the themes investigated in the analysis section.

The intention is to illustrate how the cultural heritage and landscape of the Ebbsfleet area can be interpreted into design principles for the the urban structures, architectures and built form to instil a distinctive character into Ebbsfleet new neighbourhoods.

Kentish landscape terms and local place names derived from the topographical features are used to define the design narratives and influence the grain of new development areas, residential, mixed use and civic typologies:

Design teams are invited to use these narratives as a creative springboard for their own development within the specific conditions of their project, or use the methodology illustrated within this study to develop additional design narratives derived from the study of the local context.

  • Eastern Quarry is characterised by surrounding chalk cliffs and the range of gradients sloping down to the lakes on the southern boundary:

  • Ebbsfleet Central sits on south and eastward facing slopes that lead down to the Ebbsfleet River valley.

  • Northfleet Riverside is surrounded by chalk cliffs with the Thames to the north and Robin’s Creek to the west.

  • Swanscombe Peninsula

The diagram below maps how the Design Narratives can be applied to the Ebbsfleet area. All narratives should be developed to align with existing planning permissions for that area. The illustrations, house types and densities illustrated within the 'Essence of Ebbsfleet' guide  have been developed to be in full alignment with the density bands and principles set-out in the existing planning permissions as of March 2018.  The existing planning permission takes precedence over this guidance if any divergence exists.

The Design Narratives

The Coombe provides a narrative for Eastern Quarry, derived from a study of a number of Kent villages local to the area that share similar geographies and topographies to the various slopes enclosed by the chalk cliffs of the quarry.

Fleets & Hithes provides a narrative for the Northfleet riverside, referencing the industrial wharfs and docks of the industrial Thames.

Defined settlements provide a narrative for more urban areas that can accommodate taller buildings and high levels of density. This narrative pay tribute to the industrial architecture and material qualities of the local cement industry.

The Marshes explores how water-based landscapes can be inhabited in a way that preserves the historic geometry s of the marshes, to create a distinctive sense of place.

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