69 The Old High Street, Folkestone
A bold and transformative project providing four new apartments and four floors of flexible, high quality workspace, once again raising the space standards of the Creative Foundation's portfolio
We were appointed by the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, working closely with Creative Folkestone, to develop a number of mixed use projects in the heart of Folkestone’s Old Town. The objective was to support creative industries locally as well as those who work in them, providing living accommodation as well as work space. This project is the second of three commissions for Neat, as part of a wider three-phase master plan.
The site spans three historic building plots within Folkestone’s Old Town Conservation area and presents itself on two streets with very different characters. Our approach has been to design a single building of two halves. The first is to re-establish the original building form and façade line of number 69, The Old High Street. The second is to create four floors of flexible, high quality commercial studio/office space on the site of 11 and 13 Tontine Street.
The design includes a small courtyard to enhance public realm and offer an exhibition space, which also provides the entrance to the residential units. On the fifth floor of this new building a live-work unit has been created, incorporating one of the Folkestone 2014 Triennial installations as part of the studio space.
The project surpasses the current commercial space standards available within the Creative Foundation's property portfolio, which has already helped to secure an important new tenant and further investment.
Alastair Upton, Chief Executive, Creative Folkestone
Visually striking and tagged by Banksy, 69 The Old High Street, connects art and architecture offering a new space for business innovation and creative endeavour at the heart of Folkestone’s creative community. By linking The Old High Street and Tontine Street, it feels like one of the final structural pieces in the creative transformation of Folkestone’s creative quarter. A beacon of collaboration.
Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, President : Lord Foster of Thames Bank
'The Old High Street project uses bold colour with conviction and confidence, avoiding the modern terror of random polychromy, the twenty-first century equivalent of flinging paint pots at the face of the public ... its bright red fins appearing as a continuous facade when viewed obliquely'
Photographs : Timothy Soar, Matt Rowe, Gordon Abbott
Client : Roger De Haan Charitable Trust
Area : 1,090 sq.m
Value : £2.69 million
2022 : Royal Fine Art Commission Trust : Commended