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Week Street and Maidstone Station Place

A new crossing and gateway space were created that enabled the connection between the town centre and the train station and the employment centres.



CHALLENGE

Week Street is an old Roman Road that runs through the centre of Maidstone, the County town of Kent. It is the main route between the civic administration centres of County Hall, Maidstone train station and the town centre and bus transport interchange. Perception in the town was that the run down nature of the north end of Week Street beyond the Fremlin Mall acted as a barrier to a connected centre.

INNOVATION

The train station, the County Offices and Maidstone Jail bounded a distinct civic space with Week Street leading off the southern edge. In discussion with the town centre manager, local retailers, Network Rail, civic and private stakeholders, Anna Tennent developed a scheme with the Maidstone Urban Designer to give coherence to whole of the street; a new crossing and gateway space were created that enabled the connection between the town centre and the train station and the employment centres based in County Hall. The civic space became County Square and a gateway entrance was created at the top of Week Street, a new development with café was located to the east of the street at this entrance and a pedestrian priority crossing was created as well as wider pavements area with the vehicular areas being raised to create a single surface. New signage and street furniture improved the streetscape and parking was provided at appropriate points along the route. The Town Centre Manager and Maidstone Urban Designer began negotiations with a well known restaurant chain to open up a window in a blank wall to ensure good passive surveillance of the street.

IMPACT

The changes had an immediate impact in perception of the connectedness of Maidstone town centre; however the long term impact can bee seen in the changes to the recent town centre proposals (2008-12) that show development opportunities and sites to the north and east of the station .

PROJECT FACTS

Project Type: Landscape Design, Urban Design, Regeneration
Location: Kent, UK
Date: 2004-6
Contract Value: N/A

EXPERTISE

Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Regeneration, Partnership Working