Gillingham, UK

Chantry Mews

Chantry Mews is a residential-led sustainable development of 42 homes in the heart of Gillingham, Dorset, for Hopkins Estates.

The project seeks to redefine town centre living in a rural community where walking and cycling are encouraged by providing a new pedestrianised “green link” known as Chantry Mews, which offers easy access between the High Street and the countryside.

A community park, allotments, planted borders, trees and green roofs flank the new route; approximately a third of the entire site will be green space.

The architecture responds to the local vernacular by featuring Gillingham Red brick, a prominent material used in the town as it was locally produced from the rich clay.

The centrepiece building, Strickland Works, is named after a local family who ran an automotive business on the site for many years and will accommodate 30 homes in a mix of lateral apartments and maisonettes.

Strickland Works frames a new town square to be created on the High Street to act as a vibrant community hub with food and beverage outlets to support the existing local businesses.

To the south, a smaller building known as Herridge House after the original owner of the site, provides eight assisted living units on a quieter back street, Buckingham Road, with direct access to the local library, park and supermarket via a pedestrian bridge over the River Stour.

Chantry Mews itself is flanked by four houses, providing family housing in a unique courtyard configuration with private gardens.

All the buildings will be constructed in timber framing from sustainable sources and clad in locally sourced materials, using local labour. Green roofs feature on the larger structures, and a solar array adorns the southern part of Strickland Works.