Cook Associates were approached by Geko Developments to redevelop a 0.5 hectare site close to Maidstone town centre. The site consists of a listed Judges House, Barracks Block and other buildings associated with its historic use as the former Kent Police Headquarters.
Due to the sites proximity to the A249 the scheme for 66 flats has been laid out around a central courtyard to create a more tranquil environment. By stepping the height and the planes of the brickwork façade the scheme achieves a rhythm of verticality that compliments the more historic buildings around the site.
The building design also uses open bays and columns to give a perforated façade and avoids the heaviness that would ensue from a continuous masonry wall. The result is that we can use a traditional material like brick as the main cladding element and yet achieve a lightness and 3-dimensional volume rarely associated with the material. The articulation of the façade allows for an inter-play of light and shade where we set up a theme an then re-play and repeat with variations that are differentiated in plane and material to give an active and quietly dynamic form.