Exploring the Historic Dockyard in Chatham

While working on a live project of adaptive reuse, our students draw inspiration from major conservation projects around Kent. On 19 February, we visited the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, to explore some of the most stunning Georgian and Victorian buildings in the UK. Guided by Stephen Billington (Chatham Dockyard), our students observed the repairs to the stunning 1833 covered slip, one of the largest timber structures in Europe. They also had a guided tour of the 1801 Smithery, currently refurbished to house and display collections of the National Maritime Museum of Greenwich. One of the day’s highlights was the visit to the elegant interior of the Commissioner’s house, a fine example of early Georgian residential architecture. The day closed with a workshop inside the refurbished Joiner’s Shop, a Scheduled Monument featuring a hybrid timber and metal structure. This gave the students the opportunity to fully experience a reused fabric, not only through the lens of a conservation architect, but also from the point of view of the user.

Exploring the 1833 Covered Slip with Stephen Billington
Chatham Dockyard – No. 1 Smithery (1801) refurbished to display the collections of the National Maritime Museum
Stephen Billington (Chatham Dockyard) and the team in front of the Commissioner’s House