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
ShortlistSittingbourne Retail Park
Architect: Geoffrey Reid Associates
Main contractor: Birse Construction
Brick: Ibstock Funton Second Hand Stock and Dorking Red Multi
Client Medway Council Designer Kent County Council/Transport Directorate Main contractor may gurney and christiani & nielsen Structural engineer kent county council Brick Baggeridge Rudgwick Medium Dark Yellow and Red