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Ingress Park, Greenhithe, Kent

Ingress Park is a stunning development set amongst 72 acres of landscaped grounds on the River Thames.

The development has been designed and set around the historic Grade II listed Abbey with its waterfront, established parkland heritage and woodland areas. With 950 new dwellings, creating a strong sense of place and community was a key factor in the development.

The MW Approach

Murdoch Wickham assisted the design team in masterplanning the development, retaining key features sensitive to the history of the site, as well as designing and implementing the public realm hard and soft landscaping.

As the project has progressed into the latter stages, Murdoch Wickham has been commissioned to undertake the landscape design of individual phases.

Being a large residential site it was very important to reduce the scale of development by creating strong character areas linked through the public realm.  This resulted in the creation of uniquely identifiable neighbourhoods with their own definitive sense of place, including the Abbey Boulevard, the River Walk, the Abbey Amphitheatre and the restoration of the Capability Brown Heritage trail and the Riverside Piazza – creating authentic spaces in tune with the heritage of the site.

The MW Vision

Murdoch Wickham’s Landscape Masterplan for Ingress Park Waterfront Phase 4

Drawing on the varied historical uses of the site inspired some of the key focal points for Murdoch Wickham in the planning, design and development.

In the mid-late Eighteenth Century the formal gardens to Ingress Abbey were swept away, in favour of the creation of an extensive park and pleasure grounds in part designed by Capability Brown. The surviving historic landscape and numerous follies such as the ‘Cave of the Seven Heads’ and ‘Lovers Arch’ formed the basis of the heritage trail, which has been incorporated within the new development.

In a later incarnation during the First World War, Ingress Abbey was used as an army hospital. By 1922 both house and grounds had been purchased by the Thames Nautical Training College and their training ship HMS Worcester was moored in the River Thames. This provided the inspiration for the nautical themed piazza, which is linked to the Abbey by a tree-lined boulevard.

Ingress Park’s tree-lined avenue linking the River Thames with the Abbey

Reusing and repurposing original materials helps to reinforce the site’s heritage, and it inspired a number of features in this development. The eastern half of the site was occupied by Empire Paper Mills, which had a large waterside jetty. When this was dismantled, the piles which were driven deep into the mud were recycled into seats, benches and bollards which have been used throughout the public realm.

Recycled timber piles used throughout the public realm

The MW Touch

MW worked very closely with the highway engineers to create a sensitive suite of hard and soft landscape details which imbued character to the fabric of the different neighbourhoods.

MW worked closely with pebble mosaic artist, Maggy Howarth, to deliver the centrepiece to the Riverside Piazza. This took the shape of a central mosaic dial themed on the HMS Worcester.

Maggy Howarth pebble mosaic, the centrepiece to the Riverside Piazza

A mature boulevard of 26 large limes 50-60cm girth were planted at the outset of the development to link the Abbey open space to the waterfront creating an instant set piece around which the first phases of development were built. This recreated in part the formal gardens that once linked the house with the river before Capability Brown remodeled the estate.

Project Details

Awards

  • Daily Mail National Homebuilder Design Award 2006
  • CABE Building for Life Gold Standard Award 2003
  • The Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Planning Achievement 2001, Award for Planning and Urban Design

Sector

Residential

Client

Crest Nicholson

Status

1998 – Ongoing

Murdoch Wickham strives to create successful spaces for communities to use and enjoy.

Our vast range of experience and passion for design excellence allows us to enhance the environment, both sustainably and for the community.
Murdoch Wickham, The Tithe Barn, Bradbourne House, East Malling, Kent, ME19 6DZ
© 2018 Murdoch Wickham