A savoury addition to Folkestone coastline completed by Guy Hollaway Architects
Guy Hollaway Architects’ design for Folkestone’s new high profile restaurant - Rocksalt - has now been completed. The architects’ considered design elevates the harbour-side building on a pale green slate plinth and cantilevers it out over the water, creating 430 sq m of space and offering visitors stunning views.
The restaurant is approached via Folkestone’s creative quarter and through a Victorian viaduct: it’s curved, dark wood facade peels away from a cobbled street leading to the fish market. Set into this timber façade, slate steps lead up past angled reveals which look into the restaurant’s kitchen and beyond to the sea. The selection of tactile materials including larch and slate, and the scale of the building, both resonate with the vernacular - referencing the black painted weatherboarding in the immediate context.
Beyond the restaurant is a slipway where Folkestone’s small fishing fleet lands its fresh catch. The fish market area is much used and the restaurant also provides a public bench above the jetty. At water level, timber dolphin piles protect the building from straying boats.
On the ground floor glass doors allow uninterrupted, panoramic views of the fishing boats at high tide and lead onto the curved and cantilevered balcony made from zinc soffit (and an extension of the curved ceiling). The first floor bar opens fully to an afternoon sun terrace (the sun’s progress having been carefully tracked and maximised in the use of space) which offers elevated views over a pebble strewn roof terrace to the viaduct and across the harbour to the English Channel.
Rocksalt has been realised in time for it to take centre stage in the town’s flourishing arts and culture festival - the Triennial (until 25th September) - but it is designed as a destination restaurant which will continue to attract visitors to Folkestone. In this it is a key part of the on-going regeneration of the seafront and harbour area (which is masterplanned by Sir Terry Farrell and largely funded by Roger de Haan and the Creative Foundation). The practice worked with restaurant specialists, Stiff + Trevillion and the head chef is Mark Sargeant, former head chef at Claridges.