Refurbishment of areas of the Harbour Station has been an ongoing process. Preserving and highlighting the heritage of our town is very important to the Folkestone Harbour & Seafront Development Company (FH&SDC). The only remaining part of Customs House is one of the most important buildings in the harbour. It incorporates the only remnants of the original 1850 Folkestone Harbour Station. Therefore it is important to the FH&SDC to restore and enhance this building.
Our restoration team paid close attention to even the smallest details. We replicated the main entrance façade as closely as possible. When replacing the rotten oak double doors their original hinges were recast. And along the restored station façade, a horizontal rustication (a rough finish to the stone) was introduced to match that of the entrance facade.
Where necessary, some windows and doorways have been unblocked. However, some windows have also been left bricked up and internal walls left unfinished, revealing the mix of building materials used in the building’s construction. Our intention is to respect the layers of change the building has undergone, keeping them as part of its story rather than trying to erase them.
Other measures have included polishing the concrete floor, cleaning the stonework and remaking the damaged balustrade. Electrics have been install and asbestos was removed when insulating the roof.
We have created a flexible events and exhibition venue that feels suitably spacious. The floor was lowered 1.2m to the level of the original station and partition walls removed. Inside you can see the original ceiling joists which now conceal a modern overhead lighting system.
The Design Architects for the project are ACME