Latest Project Nears Completion in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter

Published on September 10th, 2020


Arts and Culture | Heritage

A major project in the latest phase in the development of Folkestone’s Creative Quarter is being completed this month (September 2020).  

The new building, close to the junction of Tontine Street and The Old High Street, fills a gap that was created following the demolition of previously derelict structures. The new build will provide four residential apartments, with the upper floors accessed by lift, four commercial units and an attractive courtyard, which will feature an artwork to be announced that will have special resonance for Folkestone. It will also incorporate a striking recreation of one of Diane Dever and Jonathan Wright’s “Pent Houses” (Folkestone Triennial 2014) as a wooden studio on its penthouse roof terrace.

All of this represents a significant and much needed addition to the space available to people who work in the creative industries, whilst improving visual cohesion between the thoroughfares of The Old High Street and Tontine Street.

Architect Gordon Abbott has worked on several Creative Quarter projects, including the Glassworks and the popularly named “Lightbulb” building (after Michael Craig-Martin’s 2017 Artwork) at the bottom of The Old High Street. His designs for the current site have incorporated replicating the listed but damaged façade facing The Old High Street and a contemporary façade for the elevation facing Tontine Street that complements Sydney Smirke’s sweeping nineteenth century terrace. Gordon is also working on a further site in Tontine Street which remains in development and will be completed in early 2021.  

The freehold is owned by The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, which has also funded the renovation work. As with similar Creative Quarter properties, the completed buildings will now be leased for 125 years on a peppercorn rent to the independent arts charity Creative Folkestone, enabling them to provide much needed additional capacity for tenants in the creative sector who require living, work or retail space.

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