A keystone building in Folkestone’s new Creative Quarter, Workshop is the headquarters of Josh de Haan’s business operations, the ultimate flexible workplace, and home to a rather fun and rapid flume. However, from a purely architectural perspective, it’s the façade that’ll catch the engineer’s eye. The only part retained, the façade was anchored as the rest of the building was demolished, and then held in the air as the Workshop was built around it.

A regeneration and extension of a former nightclub, the project houses five floors of flexible office space. Nicknamed the Factory Floor, the ground floor 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 more traditional office spaces and meeting rooms. 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.

Retaining the façade was a planning consent must. Beautifully restored, it sits as if floating in front of the undulating glass, its black colouring contrasting with the glass wall sitting alongside. The task of retaining it taxed the most mathematical of brains, and we had to suspend it during construction so as to insert the surrounding glass, whose undulations feed into the historical part of the façade. It was, to all intents and purposes, an insanely complicated piece of building.