Elwick Place’s pioneering, high tech building dominates Ashford’s leisure quarter.
Designed by Kent award-winning architects, Guy Holloway Studio, the gold woven aluminium mesh facade of Elwick Place’s £26 million development is a magnificent sight to behold.
Externally, ‘black boxes’ typical of the acoustic and visual integrity required of cinema design are wrapped at first-floor level with sections of gold-coloured woven, anodised aluminium mesh. Adopting a sculptural and softly tapering form, the mesh reflects daylight to create a subtly changing and opaque facade. After dusk and illuminated from within, thanks to LightIQ’s dynamic lighting scheme, the mesh becomes a transparent gauze and beacon for our town’s nightlife.
At the west of the development, a terrace bar with glazed balustrading extends out from Picturehouse’s bar and lounge, creating the perfect space for alfresco dining or private events. Gold-coloured aluminium composite cladding on the Travelodge towards the eastern end of the cinema ties Elwick Place’s two anchor buildings together.
Designed to celebrate Ashford’s market town heritage, Guy Hollaway collaborated with artists to include both restored and newly commissioned installations. The original cattle market gateposts have been recovered and painstakingly restored by artist Jonathon Wright. While The Elwick Etchings, a public art project by Folkestone’s Strange Cargo, sees 100 personal reminiscences and stories from the people of Ashford engraved into paving slabs to ensure that the voices of its past are an integral part of its future.
“This is the first new-build ‘Picturehouse’ cinema in the country and will create a new destination for Ashford, giving people a reason to come into the town centre in the evenings. When so many towns are building out of town cinemas, Ashford is bucking the trend and investing in its town centre to bring about positive change.” Guy Hollaway