At Forge Design Studio we are very familiar with working with Listed Buildings and the planning constraints that are attached to them, however, Martello Tower F is a Scheduled Ancient Monument which carries with it a new level of Heritage involvement.
Martello Towers are small coastal artillery forts constructed after the renewal of war with France in 1803 to defend England against the threat of invasion. Their design and name were taken from a tower at Martello Bay, Corsica. 103 towers were constructed along the coast in two phases, those in Essex and Suffolk being built between 1809 and 1812.
Martello Tower F is the only remaining moated example on the Essex coast. The tower is an important local landmark which has been through a variety of uses over its lifetime.
Creating a viable long-term, sustainable use is a constant issue, appointed by our clients in the summer of 2020, the brief was to bring forward a series of design ideas to bring the redundant monument back to life and provide a sustainable multi-functional events space, specifically aimed at Weddings and Hospitality functions.
We propose a ring of lightweight masted structures located in the moat which will take a flexible tensile tented roof which can be tailored to suit the size of the event being catered for. Historic England stipulated that no fixings should be made into the fabric of either the tower or the moat walls – we worked closely with the engineers to arrive at a suitable solution.
A lightweight ‘saucer like’ structure is added to the roof to create an exclusive, unique vantage point which can be used to host a variety of gatherings – from weddings to corporate events. Services and functions will take place within the restored first floor space.
Our design team have put together a comprehensive a Pre-Application design submission which sets out the proposal for a complete self-contained venue which can accommodate all aspects of a wedding celebration. The key factor in this design is flexibility, the venue needs to accommodate small parties as well as larger events.
We look forward to continuing work on this truly unique project and are very excited to fill this important old building with life and celebration!