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Defensive Architecture

Architects Barker Shorten have won Arts Council approval for a new "castle" clad entirely with Vandgard Rotating Anti Climb Guards.

A structure perched on the top of Rushenden Hill at the mouth of the Thames looking out over the River Medway and the Isle of Sheppey. It is a folly that makes playful reference to the language of defensive architecture based on The Napoleonic Martello Towers with a simple circular plan and Roman towers with their banded elevations. But it is also reminiscent of more modern, functional waterside structures with its robust galvanized steel frame being a security fencing, and anti climb spikes providing a security barrier.

Its cladding is the familiar defensive architecture of today: the Vandgard aluminium rotating anti climb vanes found everywhere, fixed in bands around the building in order to stop climbing and making it secure, but also seemingly wrapping the tower in "tinsel", allowing it to glint and gleam in the sunlight with its many shiny facets and giving it a “gothic silhouette” when seen against the sky.

Like all good "ancient monuments", you enter it through a steel turnstile. Access by a spiral staircase of thirty nine steps brings visitors up to a viewing platform at the top with a 360 degree view: details of visible landmarks helpfully etched into the coping.

A CCTV camera on a mast (which could also be a part of security equipment) transmits the view down to other remote viewing locations closer to earth for those who do not wish to climb the hill.

Vandgard is manufactured from 6082 Aluminium which is corrosion free in marine environments yet has the same tensile strength as mild steel.

Vandgard Anti Climb Guards Ltd
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