Location: Folkestone, UK
Date: 2016
Client: Folkestone Harbour and Seafront Development Company
Status: Construction
Size: 92,000m² (81,000m² residential, 11,000 m² commercial)
Credits: ACME (Alanoud Al Radaideh ,Reiner Beelitz, João Brás, Blerta Copa, Norbert Jundt, Ohyun Kwon, Duarte Lobo Antunes, Marina Kindelan, Friedrich Ludewig, Álvaro Madrazo, Ioana Petkova, Heidrun Schuhmann, Penny Sperbund, Vivian Yang)

BuroHappold (Engineering), Deacon & Jones (Quantity Surveyor), Savills (Planning Consultant), Spacehub (Landscape Architects), Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture (Heritage Consultant), Peter Stewart Consultancy (Visual Assessment + Townscape), Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP (Solicitors)
Folkestone’s location in the English Channel made it an important fishing and smuggling town for centuries. The 1840s saw the construction of the port and its connection to the railway network, creating a lively ferry service for goods and passengers between England and France, and making Folkestone a pleasant weekend beach destination for Londoners. With the advent of cheap air travel and opening of the Channel Tunnel, its position declined.

Over the last 10 years, the Folkestone Harbour Company and a number of other charities have invested to build new schools and theatres, to reinvigorate the high street and to shape a new identity and purpose. The harbour area has sat closed and abandoned since 2006. The challenge of the project is to imbue this long neglected, but highly attractive part of town with a distinctive character that is at once new and an integral part of Folkestone.

New development on this side should seek to preserve the nature of the site as a public space, a beach for everyone, and a place to find things not found elsewhere. The new master plan has been shaped to preserve the existing historic harbour and station, maximise public space, provide sea views for everyone, and to give the development a coherent architectural language reflecting the heritage of grand seaside estates.