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The Smokehouse : Folkestone Harbour

UK Construction

In 2010 the Folkestone Harbour Company commissioned Sir Terry Farrell and Partners to draw up plans for a major regeneration of the Folkestone Harbour area. The regeneration plans gave Folkestone what it needed to be a bigger, better tourist attraction and The Smokehouse is just one of the new places-to-be in the area.

Architect Pringle Richards Sharratt is known for its experience with developments of this kind and caliber. The brief was to create a fish and chip shop and restaurant incorporating the existing structure. The character sensitive design of the scheme and an approach of pre-application meetings with the planning authority meant that the development went to the committee with the full support of both the case and conservation officers. 

The Smokehouse is a fish and chip shop & takeaway providing a unique local dining experience. It is a redevelopment of an existing site of three buildings nestled together: a three storey brick warehouse, a tall timber smokehouse and a large two storey industrial warehouse. The development is in a conservation area and the design maintains the composition of the three buildings 

The large two storey warehouse has provided the space for the restaurant’s dining and kitchen area and was the largest part of the development works. The original timber structure was replaced with a steel frame, and a new front wall made up of five 1.9 x 5m double glazed panels, integrated to achieve minimal sight lines, now offers brilliant views south across the harbor. The new glazed wall works with the old character of the building to create a stark contrast. The double height dining area is brought to life by using the building’s original and striking black feather board timber façade as the back wall. This locates the building firmly in its context, using the vernacular style, as well as offering an unusual backdrop to the restaurant area.

Care was taken to maintain a suitable temperature within the dining area. Blinds installed behind the soffit beams drop to cover 60% of the glazing and high performance solar control glass units reduce unwanted solar gain to the building. Monodraught vents in the rear roof section draw hot stale air out from the top of the room replacing it with fresh cool air supplied through discreet grills at the bottom of the glass front wall. This passive ventilation has successfully eliminated the need for air conditioning in the building.

The three storey warehouse was suited to a more domestic scale. The external openings within the brick façade remain unchanged, with only internal alterations - moving the stairs and adding bathrooms – required to provide the accommodation. The interiors were designed to work with the building’s exterior with stripped back walls, Crittall galvanised steel windows, rough sawn timber floors and doors and reconditioned iron beds from Portugal. There are now five en-suite rooms, offering restaurant guests and other visitors an inexpensive, convenient and well-appointed place to stay.

The building has been developed in an intelligent way, bringing old and new together, to sit side by side. Cardy Construction, Main Contractors, have worked together with Pringle Richards Sharratt to complete an expertly laid out development with good use of space. Upon completion, Chef Mark Sargeant opened the doors of the £600,000 redevelopment in July 2011. 

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