Precedents: Benjamin Fern and Perry Kulper

I have chosen Benjamin Fern’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences as my precedent to do my architectural drawings in his style. I have chosen this style as they stood out to me. I particularly like the high contrast black and white as well as the detailed texture and materiality that he has added in a subtle way but adds depth and realness to the drawings. Working in Black and White has also allowed me to really focus on my drawings as well as light and shadow which is something that I needed to work on this year. Black and white also allows me to focus on the atmosphere of my drawings and the details before using colour which I feel can sometimes be too much when trying to convey information from a drawing.

My second precedent for my diagrams and posters, I have chosen Perry Kulper as my point of reference. I particularly like his style as it is so different from Benjamin Fern’s refined and monotone style and I felt that a drastic contrast would be a challenge that I could rise to. Perry Kulper works in a very interesting way, combining various elements such as diagrams, technical drawings, sketches, photographs, notes, quotes and graphs. His scrapbook style and his use of colour was something that I thought would work well in contrast to my architectural drawings. In using different layers and combinations was something I wanted to explore further to work on my graphic techniques and compositions.

Site Surveying Part I – 09.01.20

The first site visit to Dreamland was my first time visiting Margate so I was unsure what to expect. Expectations had exceeded reality and it was sad to see what had clearly been once and thriving and loved place had now become a run down and almost abandoned seaside town. This could have been that it was January and quite a grim, typically English day but it was clear that Margate was not the town that it has once used to be. On the seafront, an empty beach, a large closed down arcade and the closed down Dreamland Cinema that looked out of place and again a physical reminder that Margate had once been a popular hot-spot to visit.

The exterior of the Dreamland Cinema, with it’s obviously American inspired architectural design stood out against the sea front in a nostalgic way and I was interested to explore inside to start to unveil the story of what it used to be. We had to be accompanied by a member of Thanet District Council as the vacant building belongs to them and to ensure that we were safe in a building that had asbestos filled rooms that were securely closed and we were unable to access.

Vacant Foyer of the Dreamland Cinema

On entering the building there was something exciting about discovering such an important building to Margate’s history and it was the start of doing a very real and stimulating project. Having my camera with me was beneficial as I was able to focus on specific details that I could later analyse and explore more in depth as there was a lot to take in. As we walked through the hallway past the old foyer of the cinema, we entered the old Bingo Hall, that was almost unchanged apart from the dust filled velvet seats and chairs and the clear abandonment of the place. The stylistic choices of the room felt very 60’s inspired with a pastel green and pink colour panelling circling the walls, a reminder that during the 60’s Margate had been bursting with life and colour.

Inside the Old Bingo Hall in Dreamland

We made our way upstairs to the vacant Sunshine Cafe which would be our area that we would be focusing on. What struck me first about the space was the natural light from the large windows looking out on the beach framing Margate to be a picturesque seaside town. It was a shame that such a beautiful vacant space was unused and just left to be a reminder of the past.

We separated into three groups to focus on different zones. My group had zone 2 which focused on the stairs and the east side of the space. I took photos, measurements and charcoal rubbings of textures to attempt to record as much as of the space as possible.

Textured Charcoal Rubbing
Textured Charcoal Rubbing

We then collaborated sending all measurements and shared all our findings with the other groups so we could start our site surveying drawings.

Dreamland Archive Gallery

To introduce us to Dreamland and the new project, we had Tamara who works for the Dreamland Heritage Trust come and introduce us to Dreamland. It was interesting hearing the story and the timeline of the Park. We also saw the Dreamland Archive which included photos of Dreamland throughout the years. Here are key images I have chosen to put in my own archive of Dreamland.

History of Dreamland

Historical Timeline Inspired by Perry Kulper

From 1870 George Sanger was the owner of the Hall By The Sea and the land behind this was his pleasure garden which contained a menagerie of animals he kept for show. Shortly after this the first amusement rides were introduced. to Margate.

In 1911 George Sanger died leaving the uncertainty of the Pleasure Park as its future was unknown. Most of the visitors came for the attraction of Sanger and his charisma. The site was sold to John Henry Iles.

In 1919 John Henry Iles purchased the Hall By The Sea. He brought the site for £40,000 but spent £500,000 creating his vision of an amusement park which he called Dreamland. He also built the iconic wooden roller coaster also known as the Scenic Railway.

The famous Art-Deco inspired Dreamland Cinema was built in 1935 by architects Julian Leathart and WF Granger. Arguably one the most iconic buildings of Margate inspired cinema design around the UK. The cinema is now Grade II listed..

In 1940 Dreamland was requisitioned by the government and held over 2000 troops and allies after the attack at Dunkirk and continued to serve soldiers throughout the war. In 1946 Dreamland reopened again.

The 1950s welcomed a new era of optimism after the war years sparking new hope and interests in the design and entertainment industry. Dreamland was where people could dress up to impress and enjoy good music and entertainment.

Like most seaside towns in the 1960s, Margate was in it’s golden era with the economy and tourism on the rise with day trippers and holiday makers staying at the popular seaside resort. Margate was a town thriving in life.

In the 1970s, Dreamland was taken over by Associated Leisure Entertainments LTD. They introduced new rides, renovated the cinema and welcomed a small zoo in Dreamland.

In 1980s the park was again sold to Bembom Brothers who owned a Dutch theme park. They welcomed new rides and put a more family-fun feeling on Dreamland.

The theme park was given its previous name Dreamland and was sold off by the Bembom Brothers to Folkestone amusement park owner Jimmy Goodden. He welcomed a larger family appeal by introducing more traditional rides. However, the decline of Dreamland had began with the approach of a new millennium. There were rumours that the site would be turned into a supermarket or made into flats.

The early 2000s brought an uncertain future for Dreamland and its heritage meaning that the Scenic Railway was made a Grade II listed rollercoaster. In 2003 there was a Save Dreamland Campaign as residents did not want the site to be sold however, in 2007 the park closed. in 2008 there was an arson attack in the park destroying part of the Scenic railway and prompting people to protect Dreamland. The Heritage Lottery Fund, Thanet District Council and the Sea Change Fund supported the redevelopment of Dreamland.

After several years of campaigning, Dreamland site saw a redevelopment of design and change and finally reopened in June 2015. Dreamland continues to expand and remain at the heart of Margate.

Margate Dreamland

Margate, in Kent is a town on England’s southeast coast. Known for its sandy beach, it is a town which thrives and survives on Tourism. Margate today is now also known for the Turner Contemporary Gallery which opened in 2011, Dreamland Amusement Park and other treasures such as The Shell Grotto.

However, like the majority of seaside towns, during the later part of the 20th century, as holidays aboard became more affordable and more accessible to families, popular seaside hotspots began to decline in tourism. With a decline in economy town such as Margate start to become run down and get a negative reputation.

Rachel’s Interior Architecture and Design Blogs

Introduction Blog

Welcome to my website where I am showcasing my work and latest design projects. I am in my 2nd year of studying Interior Architecture and Design at University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury and enjoying studying and immersing myself in the field of Design.

The Corona-Virus has changed the way we live our lives immensely, and as classes and lectures have moved online I am rising to the challenge of starting my own website. This website showcases my design projects and research throughout my studies and beyond, something that I hope to look back on and see how I grow and develop as a designer.

My first project is my final project from year 2. Focusing on Dreamland in Margate, Kent, this project focuses on the restoration of a building and how it can transform a local community for the better. The brief was to design a council for the community of Margate which would involve education and hospitality, something I rose to the challenge of and created a fun and unique response to the brief.