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The Dover Dichotomy: Toward an Automotive Landscape

Part 2 Project 2011
Adam Hiles
University for the Creative Arts | UK
Faced with the need to expand to meet ever growing traffic demands, yet restrained on all sides by SSSIs, the powerful White Cliffs and the turning circles of increasing large cross channel ferries, my project envisions the seemingly inevitable expansion of the Port of Dover into its namesake town, and the subsequent infrastructural infiltration and reordering of its urban fabric. The project speculates upon a potential urban outcome of this assimilation, and considers the aggressive absorption of the town centre into the jurisdiction of the Port as the progenitor for a new Autopian urbanism.

Exploring the idea of an incremental strategic take over by the Port Authority, the project willingly considers the polemic juxtaposition of Dover's town centre with the grimy, concrete and auto-exhaust pinball-machine landscape of an overcapacity logistics node, where by concrete flyovers and overhead gantries manoeuvring a hypnotising choreography of vehicles into and through the intestinal complexities of the port are seen as equally beautiful and captivating as the adjacent White Cliffs.

Subsequently, the project speculates upon the realignment of the town toward an urbanism of lorry turning circles and vehicle queuing lanes, and explores the contested spatial and political territories of the port and town. Ribbons of tarmac intravenously feed this hybrid landscape, accumulating into a public realm of hyper congestion, where drive through typologies and provisions for operation stack rub up against urban programmes and fragments of Dover's historic town that have been slowly consumed by the port and absorbed, adapted and re-worked into its automotive landscape. As these new adjacencies emerge, the port's vast array of communicative and peripheral surfaces play out the ongoing discourse(s) of the now cohabiting town and port.

'Eat More Chips': Port of Dover Groundscape Research Film:

Adam Hiles

Mr Alan Atlee

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