Inspired by the undulating landscapes and orchards of Kent, Mountfield Park on the southern edge of Canterbury, will be a significant enlargement of the city. The first phase of 140 homes will set a benchmark for a further 4,000 new homes by establishing a contemporary identity that encapsulates the essence of Canterbury.
The formal composition of residential clusters, apartment blocks and open spaces, is driven by the site’s iconic view of Canterbury Cathedral. This is used to establish a structured view line across the site in which a series of open spaces are arranged, including a principal square. A number of permeable pedestrian/cycle routes across the site not only connect with wider existing and planned neighbourhoods, but also help to reinforce strategic routes to particular points of interest.
The first phase comprises of five residential clusters arranged to resemble the ‘gridded patchwork’ structure of surrounding hops fields and fruit orchards. Building on this concept of structured productive fields, a typological narrative of shelter and organisation is established through the composition of residential clusters. Configured as a series of courts made-up of inter-connected courtyard houses, each cluster is enabled to have its own character and identity. Through the careful arrangement of visual links and relationship between private and shared spaces, this typology also sets a framework for a more intimate sense of community amongst its residents within the wider scheme. At the heart of each cluster is an orchard landscape, provided as a focal point. In response to the site’s undulating topography, each cluster is expressed as a series of stepped terraces.
Taller apartment buildings positioned to ‘frame’ view lines of the Cathedral, also provide form and scale to the adjacent principal square. A dominant palette of red brick and architectural details which incorporate gables and chimney elements aspires to encapsulate the essence Kent village streetscapes.
The development contains a range of one, two and three bedroom apartments and two, three, four and five bedroom houses. All dwellings are provided with ample private outdoor amenity in the form of balconies, courtyards, back gardens or terraced spaces.