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A  hand painted brochure cover from 1969
HISTORY

Arlington was designed by Russell Diplock Associates, built by Bernard Sunley and Sons and was officially opened in December 1964.

The 4.5 acre site was originally intended to comprise of over 50 shops, restaurants and bars, a supermarket, coach station, filling station, theatre, swimming pool, a multi-storey car park and an 18-storey, 142-flat block.

Whilst some elements did not make it into the final construction, the site did consist of the residential block "Arlington House", the shops/ pub/ restaurants "Arlington Square" and the carpark/ coach station "Arlington Car Park". The tower block and car park have remained in constant use since their construction, however Arlington Square has been slowly demolished since 2011, with only the road facing shops remaining standing but unused.

Arlington House was built with white concrete cladding containing mica flecks which caused it to sparkle in the sunlight, and the purposefully angular facade mimics the rolling waves whilst enabling every flat to have a beach view.

CONSTRUCTION

"At Arlington House, the in-situ cast concrete tower was built without scaffolding, using demountable shuttering. The block rests on piloti, which are buried within the podium and not visible to the public. Every floor has four flats on either side of a central corridor with an escape stair at each end. Loads are borne both on the corridor walls and the party walls between the units. This allows for flexibility of layout within the flats, and also for continuous curtain glazing to the principal elevations. The block is orientated north-south, and the cranked glazing to the east and west elevations allow each flat to have a direct view of Margate Sands. The glazing is housed in 950mm by 1200mm aluminium frames which can slide open horizontally to their full width. Beneath the windows are precast, white concrete panels containing a calcined flint aggregate, which originally sparkled in the sunshine. The panels rest on the floor slab creating an unforeseen thermal or ‘cold’ bridge. The site is very exposed and most of the flats have had sliding secondary glazing fitted. When so modified, the units are surprisingly thermally efficient. Internally, the finishes are to a high specification with a Carrara marble and teak entrance lobby and concierge lodge. When opened in 1963, the flats were available for short-term rent only" - Nick Dermott, a conservation architect and heritage advisor to Thanet District Council

A colour photograph of the building partially constructed
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