Concrete Series

Functional Architecture

Dartford Creek Barrier

Built in 1981 the barrier serves as a flood defence for Dartford, Crayford and the surrounding areas of the Thames, protecting thousands of homes and businesses. Straddling the River Darent and marking the boundary between Kent and Greater London, its striking form and finish divides opinion with the barrier on several occasions being nominated for the ‘ugliest building in Kent’.

Deal Pier

We often talk about architecture being ‘sympathetic’ to its surroundings, sitting in harmony with its immediate environment. However with more functional builds, particularly those which must be equipped for coastal erosion, this can be a difficult design process.

Designed by Sir W. Halcrow & Partners and completed in 1957, Deal Pier is a prime example of the ‘form follows function’ principle. It sits, monolithic and stilted, with concrete shelter bays and enduring plexiglass, and since its renovation has had the delicate addition of the Niall McLaughlin Architects’ wooden restaurant.