LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Text description provided by the architects. The Workshop is a regeneration and extension of a former nightclub in Folkestone, Kent to create the Office Headquarters for View London, a guide to London City.
The project houses five level of flexible office space. The ground floor is referred to as the Factory Floor and functions as an incubator for new businesses starting up to aid the local economy by adding to Folkestone’s creative quarter, while the remaining levels accommodate flexible office spaces and meeting rooms. A historical façade has been restored and retained and sits as if floating in front of the undulating glass. The new black colour of the facade contrasts with a new undulating glass wall that sits alongside, it is the surrounding glass that gives a clue from the exterior of the modern working building behind.
The client is very forward-thinking and wanted to create a relaxed, fun working environment. In response to this philosophy, the upper floors are connected by an industrial slide which provides quick circulation between the floors, providing a flexible workspace with a lively working environment. The fourth floor, which was added during the renovation, is set back from the facade, creating a south-facing balcony looking out towards the sea.
The design was complex to build, with the facade having to be suspended during construction to insert the surrounding contemporary glass facade whose curving undulations feed into the historical original facade, where old meets new. This organic glazed element elegantly filters light into the internal office spaces. The design features an additional upper floor, which is set back from the existing facade line. This creates a south facing external balcony space, which uses the existing façade as a balustrade giving a view over the town and towards the English Channel.