‘A sympathetic balance between old and new’ – Dr Nikolaos Karydis explores Folkestone’s historic architecture

As a school which values its connection with the community, lecturers at the Kent School of Architecture and Design regularly speak at the meetings of local associations, businesses and interest groups.

Last week, Dr Nikolaos Karydis addressed the New Folkestone Society with a talk which explored the local architecture of Folkestone, and how new buildings and designs can complement and co-exist within the towns’ historic environments.

Nikolaos’ talk, titled ‘New Design in the Historic Environment’, opens with the question: how can towns such as Folkestone achieve a sympathetic balance between old and new? From there, he presented a colourful and illustrated talk, analysing some of the key elements of the ‘contextual’ approach to place-making and how it relates to Folkestone, such as:

  • The role of new developments in the scale and structure of the town
  • The contribution of new architecture to urban frontages
  • The impact of new buildings on the urban scene
  • The role of building materials and their contribution to the character of an area

Drawing on years of academic and professional experience, and illustrating with specific examples from Folkestone’s architectural identity, Nikolaos highlighted that the design of new buildings that adapt harmoniously to historic context plays a key role in the preservation of the character of Folkestone’s historic neighbourhoods. In analysing the different approaches to urban conservation interventions, Nikolaos showed we can establish design methods that enable architects, designers, and planners to enhance the historic environment.

is the Director of the MSc in Architectural Conservation at the University of Kent and a practising architect. Having studied architecture in Athens, Nikolaos completed his postgraduate training in the Conservation of Historical Buildings at the University of Bath. Since then he has worked both as an academic researcher and a designer on urban and architectural projects.

A man stands wearing a grey jacket and glasses. Behind him are architectural plans and visualisations pinned to the wall.
Dr Nikolaos Karydis