Liddicoat & Goldhill

The Printworks


A self-initiated mixed-use renovation in Margate's new art quarter. The project rejuvenated a derelict Victorian printing press into a creative hub, housing a café, yoga studio, project space and eight further individual studios. Residents include architects, filmmakers, stylists and musicians, and is the Margate base of Liddicoat & Goldhill.

The original building dating 1870, commissioned by the Mayor of Margate as the printing works for his paper, the ​Isle of Thanet Gazette,​ is a brick warehouse of a typically neoclassical style. The handsome façade, with its rhythmic horizontal articulation and modest pediments, attests to a once-thriving industry; disused presses from this era are scattered throughout the town – often now colonised by artists. Liddicoat & Goldhill have engaged a light touch in their adaptations, where additions have been made – the metal stairway to a new roof terrace, and metal grill gates – the industrial feel has been retained. The picking-out of the words ‘PRINT’ and ‘WORKS’ in India yellow, from the now blacked-out rendering that adorns the length of the building, is an elegant intervention.

Opportunities for collaboration and cross-fertilisation abound at the Printworks. The public-facing aspects particularly bring in visitors; Union yoga classes in the peaceful sanctuary that is Studio 2 – and the café in Studio 7, light and bright Storeroom by local speciality coffee roastery Curve – both the clean-white high-ceilinged interior space and the sun-trap terrace are frequent hang-outs for local freelancers. The individual studios are each adapted by their occupants, but certain themes abide; OSB board provides soundproofing for Margate Vocal Studio – plants spill out from RoCo Botanical Stylists to other parts of the building – the monochrome paintwork throughout, black for the hallways, pale grey for the rooms, is interrupted with accents of colour, and eclectic furnishings.

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Photography: Jo Willis