Mountbatten House. C.F. Møller. Photo: Cityscape

Mountbatten House

Mountbatten House, a landmark 1970´s office building, is transformed to high-quality residential and public use and helps to regenerate the centre of Chatham town, Kent.
 Mountbatten House. C.F. Møller. Photo: Cityscape
Facts

Client

Medway Development Company

Address

Chatham, UK

Size

186 m²

Year

2019-2021

Engineering

BDP - Structural Engineers;
MLM – MEP Building Services, Sustainability, Fire Safety Consultants.
dha – Transport Engineers

Architect

C.F. Møller Architects and Lyall, Bills & Young Architects

Landscape

C.F. Møller Architects

Collaborators, other

dha – Planning Consultant;
Heritage Collective

Mountbatten House is a 12-storey former banking headquarters constructed from an innovative slotted precast concrete technology above a crenelated brick plinth. The project combines four design initiatives: the adaptation of Mountbatten House, the design of a new extension building, temporary façade improvements to an old bus station, and the creation of a new public realm.

As well as achieving high quality living accommodation, there will be public amenities on the transformed rooftop and at ground level, with restaurants, pop-up kiosks, cafes and space for market stalls and outside seating. A variety of dwelling types are to be provided, many double-aspect or through-units benefitting from east and west light through the facades’ large windows. All dwellings are provided with private amenity space in the form of generously-sized chamfered balconies.

Key strategic views govern the height and shape of the new building. Cascading rooftop terraces of a 12-storey extension slope down dramatically towards a curved end above a deep colonnade of red brickwork. The design creates stronger visual connections to a historic theatre and an 18th century hillside fort.

Fantastic views and adaptive re-use

A new vaulted rooftop structure on Mountbatten House will transform and disrupt the flat roofline of the building and provide public amenity in the form of a double-height events space that offers fantastic views of the town centre, historic landmarks and long views across the Medway river. The removal of long access ramps to a disused bus station will allow an enhanced public realm to sweep into a new town plaza designed to act as a forecourt to the theatre and as a new threshold to the retail centre. Active commercial frontages at street level will create new opportunities for the commercial, social and cultural dynamic of the town centre.

Rather than demolishing a redundant building and creating waste material, the adaptive re-use of the Mountbatten House’s structure, cladding and embodied energy, the innovative re-use of its internal spaces and the provision of a variety of new external amenities allow the repurposing of the building to serve future needs.

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