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23 to 25 Tontine Street, Folkestone

Mixed use

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A cluster of mixed-use timber framed buildings in the heart of Folkestone’s Old Town, supporting creative industries by providing affordable, innovative spaces for studios, workshops and homes


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We were appointed by the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, working with Creative Folkestone, to design a series of mixed-use projects in the heart of Folkestone’s Old Town, supporting creative industries.

This project is one of three that the practice has been appointed to complete as part of a wider three-phase master plan. One of the fundamental objectives of this particular project is to rectify the turning away of the surrounding buildings from the area of open land known as Payers Park, which was regenerated as part of the 2014 Folkestone Triennial curated by Lewis Biggs. 

Our approach has been to re-establish the original building form and line of number 23 and 25 Tontine Street and to dramatically improve the amenity and appearance of the new buildings. This was achieved by removing the poor quality, two-storey extension previously added to the rear of 23 to 25 Tontine Street. Allowing pedestrian access, light, air, and landscaping as an extension of the Payers Park regeneration. In turn, as envisaged, this has begun the process of encouraging the buildings around Payers Park to extend a positive response to the park.

Continuing our engagement with Creative Folkestone and the Folkestone Triennial we worked closely with international artist  Jacqueline Poncelet to integrate her artwork 'Shimmera' for the 2021 Triennial into the two new timber framed buildings.

Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, President : Lord Foster of Thames Bank 

'These charming artists' studios have been a tonic for Tontine Street, previously marred by anti social behaviour ... a cluster of simple timber-framed buildings in the tradition of seaside weatherboarding house a variety of creative uses'

Architects' Journal Awards : Mixed Use 

'The judges were fulsome in their praise of this scheme. 'forward-thinking', 'done with care', with an 'exceptional' client. Located on a complex site in a densely built up urban environment, this cluster of mixed-use timber framed buildings in the heart of Folkestone's Old Town' supports creative industries by providing affordable , innovative spaces for studios, workshops and homes.  'This is the way we should be thinking about development', added the judges.  'It's not overdeveloped its embedded in place and is very sensitive to its community.   It is doing what needs to be done.  They've done a fantastic job'

          Photographs  :  Edmund Sumner, Matt Rowe

Client : Roger De Haan Charitable Trust

Area : 1,125 sq.m

Value : £2.8 million


2022 : Royal Fine Art Commission Trust : Commended

2022 : Architects' Journal Awards : Mixed Use : Highly Commended

2022 : Structural Timber Awards : Finalist

2022 : Civic Trust Awards : Regional Short List 

Related projects

Mixed Use : 3 to 7 Tontine Street

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Mixed Use : 69 The Old High Street

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