The Coachworks, Ashford
What is The Coachworks?
Developed by Turner Works, The Coachworks is a ‘meanwhile’ development which will transform Dover Place in Ashford, by reviving disused industrial buildings in the area, including the former Ashford Youth Theatre.
The Coachworks will include:
a co-working space in the old corn store, called The Platform. Up to 200 people will be able to work from this new business incubator.
a food and drink destination in the old Ashford Youth Theatre, called The Hothouse. This will also include an event space.
The open area between the two buildings will be divided between The Loggia and The Event Yard, where film or live sports screenings can take place.
The inspiration behind The Coachworks
Turner Works have developed an imaginative and innovative concept for Ashford Borough Council, unlike anything else in Kent, using the existing fabric of the buildings. They have built upon the town’s history to deliver the design and final concepts, using Ashford’s history as a trade centre to build a new space for creative innovators.
The name of the project itself, The Coachworks, pays homage to coachbuilders who were based there back in the 1960s.
The Vision for The Coachworks
When speaking with Carl Turner, he explained the vision for the project is to create a public foyer, where people can come and hang out, and likens it to the South Bank in London. His team wants to create a place where people in Ashford can come and enjoy a moment together, where creativity and experimentation can thrive. It offers a space for young creatives to come together, work with like-minded people and bring a fresh sense of enterprise and experimentation in Ashford.
When will The Coachworks open?
The Coachworks will open in three phases, with the open-air yard opening to the public on Saturday 10 August at 12pm. The Yard Bar will be open on Saturday until midnight and until 11pm on Sunday. The Yard Bar will be serving a selection of drinks including beer and cider supplied by Curious Brewery and wood-fired pizza and gelato from Macknade’s.
The co-working space is scheduled to open on September 31, 2019, whilst the Hothouse and the in-door food and drink area will open on Halloween (October 31).
The Platform co-working area will be open seven days a week, from 8am until 8pm. The Yard and the Hothouse will be open Monday to Saturday from 9am until midnight and 9am until 11pm on Sundays.
What is a ‘meanwhile’ development’?
Meanwhile developments are temporary developments, making interim use of land or buildings. No long-term plans are decided. For The Coachworks, the lifespan is estimated to five years, with future plans to be decided then. This allows for disused buildings to play a key part in regeneration, without setting anything in stone.
Turner Works / Carl Turner Architects
The Coachworks is developed by Turner Works, formerly known as Carl Turner Architects, an innovative studio who has developed projects such as Pop Brixton and Peckham Levels.