As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations, the University of Kent has chosen a number of ‘Beacon’ projects with a legacy that will illuminate the path to the next 50 years. The intention of these projects is to leave a legacy that can be built on.
A celebration of the Beacon Projects took place on Friday, 4th September 2015 in the Marlowe Building. Kent School of Architecture (KSA) was proud to see Keith Bothwell and Professor Don Gray be presented with certificates for recognition of their work on the projects.
The celebration on Friday coincided nicely with the opening of the Tensegritree, a tree-like tensegrity sculpture, located between the Marlowe Building and the new extension to the Templeman Library, which will provide a canopy over a landscaped, outdoor teaching area on campus. First conceived by Professor Don Gray in early 2013 and finished on the day of the celebration, the Tensegritree will signify a permanent memorial celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the University of Kent, and the 10th Anniversary of the founding of Kent School of Architecture.
Crater theatre – pending
Keith Bothwell from KSA designed a new open-air theatre located on the University of Kent campus, within the existing hollow on the slopes adjacent to the Eliot foot and cycle path. The landscape at present forms a ‘natural’ amphitheatre and the proposal is to retain the existing contours and vegetation as much as is possible. Only modest earthworks will be required to reshape the existing landform to provide terraces and the access ramp. Although popularly known as the ‘bomb crater’ the hollow is shown on the earliest Ordnance Survey maps of the area, dating from the 1870s, and was probably originally excavated to extract sand or gravel.
The project is technically feasible and could be completed for an overall cost of approximately £1.3m, however, at present, no funding is available to enable the Crater Theatre to be constructed. The University’s Executive Group will consider the way ahead later this year.