A sensitive renovation of a Grade II Listed former toy store set within the heart of Ramsgate's new High Street Heritage Action Zone.
A series of instrumental yet gentle interventions introduce a unique urban botanical experience. Internal ‘as found’ finishes are retained where possible, sealed and treated with a light touch, whilst additional selective accent colors look to accentuate set profiles around key existing features.
Central to this concept is the removal of a strategic section of the ground floor footprint to create a double height space for planting to grow throughout the building. An active florist draws visitors off the street, whilst within the basement a new marine conservation labyrinth, examining ocean plastic contamination and coral bleaching is introduced. Part of this story is recording the natural world, which is why the first and second floors are proposed to be occupied by analogue and digital documentary making film suites. At ground floor a cafe/gin bar within the western end encourages evening use of the botanical conservation spectacle.
A sensitive approach to conservation, one built around retaining and working with the ‘as found’ building fabric, allows the former toy store to have the capacity to be adapted for both economical and flexible operation, helping to sustain and breathe new life into a tired but rich building and in doing prolong its long term sustainability.
This project aims to attract new investment into Ramsgate’s High Street, which combined with ‘Pioneering Places’ through the national Great Place Scheme, is part of a more ambitious project. One that will make East Kent an even better place to live, work and visit by exploring heritage, developing civic pride and connecting artists and communities.
Project Team: Christopher Taylor, Tim Hare, Charlie Hope, Ian Titherington