The Quarterhouse is a multi-purpose Arts and Business Centre that forms a key element of the arts-led regeneration of Folkestone spearheaded by client The Creative Foundation, a charitable trust.
The building includes a 220 seat, 500 standing multipurpose auditorium for music, dance, theatre, film performances and conferences; ground floor foyer and exhibition space; first floor cafe/bar and a top floor business enterprise centre.
The Quarterhouse was conceived as both a ‘beacon’ announcing a new cultural hub for Folkestone, and as a modest ‘bookend’ building completing the curved east facade of late Georgian buildings that form Tontine Street. The building’s most prominent feature, the fluted mesh cladding illuminated from behind at night, took its inspiration from both the maritime iconography of Folkestone – scallop shell window pediments and seaside town paraphernalia - as well as the fragile and translucent texture of the scallop shells that arrive in Folkestone’s harbour every day.
The cladding was developed to protect the building; provide an illusion of curvature on its flat facades through modulated flute spacing; a reference to stage curtains, and to provide a constantly changing perception of texture and pattern depending on the time of day and quality of light. All of these characteristics are intended to express the animation and movement of the creative life within the building.