The Folkstone Performing Arts Centre (‘Quarterhouse’) designed by Alison Brooks Architects as part of a two stage national design competition in 2005 was completed in 2009 as both a new cultural hub for Folkestone and a ‘bookend’ completing the east facade of late Georgian buildings that form Tontine Street. The building contains a mixture of spaces including a multi-purpose auditorium, ground floor foyer and exhibition space, first floor café/ bar and a top floor business enterprise centre.
The building has already proven adaptable with a shift in market conditions, the openness of the top floor (depth of the plan, amount of daylight, column spacing and floor to ceiling height) allowed for what was to be a restaurant to easily become incubator offices with the addition of interior partitions. ABA used the materiality of the façade to root the building into its surrounding culture with an innovative aesthetic of texture, pattern and light which gave the community an immediate sense of attachment and allowed it to pass planning when it was in jeopardy.
Image credits: Images courtesy of Alison Brook Architects