TOWN PIER, GRAVESEND

Grade 1         restoration

The Pier was built in 1834 and is the world’s oldest cast iron pier. Almost at the point of structural collapse, it was bought by Gravesham Borough Council to spearhead the regeneration of the Heritage Quarter. TF&P were appointed by the Council to repair the historic structure and to design a new entrance pavilion. The project has secured the future of the historic structure; promoted regeneration; provided public access and has guaranteed income for future maintenance by creating facilities for a commercial tenant. The conservation of the cast and wrought iron structure and the replacement of the timber deck and copper and zinc roofs were significant challenges. We worked closely with the Council to raise public awareness of the project, with everything from presentation drawings, lectures and conducted tours to newspaper articles and television appearances. Significant grant aid was received from English Heritage and SEEDA.

 

Following the successful completion of the first phase of work to repair the structure of the pier, the practice was appointed by a commercial developer to design a new bar and restaurant on the open deck of the Pier. The new building is light and simple in order to have a minimal visual impact on the on the historic structure. Large sliding glass screens allow the restaurant to be opened up in fine weather, but also keep the interior warm and dry in difficult conditions. An enclosed public walkway runs alongside the restaurant to a viewing platform at the end of the pier.