Folkestone Quarterhouse

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Location: Folkestone

Client: The Creative Foundation

Project Year: 2009

Cost:

<p>In December 2005 Alison Brooks Architects won the two stage national competition for the design of the Folkestone Arts and Business Centre (‘Quarterhouse’). The 1550sm building is a key element of the arts-led regeneration of Folkestone spearheaded by client The Creative Foundation, a charitable trust.The Quarterhouse includes a 220 seat, 500 standing multipurpose auditorium for music, dance, theatre, film performances and conferences; ground floor foyer and exhibition space; first floor cafe/bar and a top floor business enterprise centre.</p><p>The design was developed through 2006, started on site in early summer 2007 and completed in February 2009. Funding for the project has come from a £3.5M grant from Kent County Council with a further £500,000 from the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA). The Quarterhouse was conceived as both a ‘beacon’ announcing a new cultural hub for Folkestone, and as a modest ‘bookend’ building completing the curved east facade of late Georgian buildings that form Tontine Street.</p><p>The building’s most prominent feature, the fluted mesh cladding illuminated from behind at night, took its inspiration from both the maritime iconography of Folkestone – scallop shell window pediments and seaside town paraphernalia – as well as the fragile and translucent texture of the scallop shells that arrive in Folkestone’s harbour every day.</p>

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