Gillingham Northern Relief Road

The best structural use of brick in the UK is on the Gillingham northern relief road in Kent. One million bricks have been used on the project, which covers four miles of dual carriageway, four bridges and a subway. Medway council chose brick because it wanted to reflect the built environment around the historic Chatham Dockyard.

The 360 m boundary wall uses brick as a structural element, and concrete bridges and piled retaining walls have been clad in brick where possible. The boundary wall is partly earth-retaining and partly free-standing, and is supported at intervals by substantial brick piers. Martin Potts, Medway council's resident structural engineer, says the structural properties of brick were key to the project:

A consistently high standard of workmanship throughout this project, reflecting great credit on those responsible for both bricklaying and its supervision


Sittingbourne Retail Park
  • Truncated cones of brickwork form a striking signature for the scheme
    Architect: Geoffrey Reid Associates
    Main contractor: Birse Construction
    Brick: Ibstock Funton Second Hand Stock and Dorking Red Multi