There are colossal regeneration plans currently in place throughout the UK to transform existing dilapidated and out-of-date towns and cities into spaces that thrive and bring communities together. Whether it’s flourishing green spaces, brand-new architecturally-stunning hospitality and entertainment venues, or fresh, mixed-use buildings, some areas of the nation are beginning to become entirely unrecognisable, and for the better. As a Kent resident, I’ve seen this first hand. Once run-down ghost towns with an industrial heritage, particularly riverside and coastal areas, such as Dover, Chatham and Margate; for example, have all received tremendous facelifts. Meanwhile, in other districts that fall under the Garden of England, the Government is investing millions into further modernisation updates.
In this month’s issue, FC&A features two inspirational Kent-based projects by Hollaway Studios that flank my home residence. Both have obtained extraordinary regeneration designs that have brought the areas in line with the aesthetic, functional and eco-friendly needs of 21st-century living. The first is an inspirational carbon-neutral global HQ and factory for one of the UK’s largest bicycle manufacturers, Brompton. Located in Ashford (where the practice’s preceding projects, Curious Brewery and Elwick Place, proudly stand), the structure will be situated within 100 acres of unused wetlands, 60 acres of which will be transformed by Ashford Borough Council into a rewilded public nature reserve and community cycle path with sustainability at its heart. Turn to page 06 to learn more about this project’s future.
Elsewhere, on page 14, we uncover Hollaway Studios’ most recent completed project, just 15 miles away in the up-and-coming, coastal area of Folkestone. Here, in a series of world firsts, we tour the first-ever purpose-built, multi-storey skatepark, part of a significant ongoing programme to regenerate the seaside town. The awe-inspiring landmark building features three skateparks, a climbing wall (the tallest in the south east of England) and a boxing ring.
Lastly, on behalf of the team at FC&A, our thoughts go out to the innocent people that have been impacted by the needless act of war that is currently destroying lives.
ON THE COVER:
Hollaway Studio has designed the world’s first purpose-built, multi-storey skatepark in Folkestone, UK.