Swindon and North Wiltshire

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Pub and Beer News

Saturday 2 May 2020

The Hall & Woodhouse, a new build pub in the Wichelstowe area of Swindon, has taken home the ‘New Build Award’ in CAMRA’s prestigious Pub Design Awards. The new pub occupies a prominent canal side site and is becoming an important asset for the emerging community.

The awards, held in conjunction with Historic England, celebrate exceptional pubs across the country that have undergone conversion or conservation work, or are newly built.

H&W had the concept of evoking the story of a developing boat building enterprise through the architecture of the building. The intention was for the sequence of structural bays to respond to the imaginary development of the business, from its origins in a simple workshop through to a grander retail shopfront.

Glazed drinking and dining areas extend along the canal frontage in the manner of a terrace of traditional boathouses, with gabled roofs opening onto the water’s edge, forming an extensive area of covered outdoor space. The taller accommodation block references traditional canal side warehouses.

The form of the building also looks to reflect the architectural heritage of industrial Swindon, evoking imagery of the open trussed roofs of the train sheds and warehouses that are such an iconic feature of the town. The internals are a juxtaposition of industrial structure and soft furnishings, with walls adorned with local, boatbuilding, family and brewing heritage images.

In front of the glazed beer cellar sits a narrowboat that projects through the building where Guests can test their pouring skills at the self-serve beer tables. From summer days on the sunny terrace to wrapping yourself around a delicious pint by the feature log burners in winter, Guests can find a variety of spaces to suit their occasion.

Andrew Davison, chair of CAMRA’s Pub Design Award judging panel, said: “The New Build Award is only awarded rarely, so it is a testament to the quality of the Hall & Woodhouse Wichelstowe that it has won! Mackenzie Wheeler Architects, the designers of the building, have drawn inspiration from the location, with a range of gabled roofs at the water’s edge evoking the canal side sheds which housed many a traditional boat-building and repairing business, and a taller accommodation block referencing historic canal side warehouses.

“The commitment Hall & Woodhouse make to individual, location-specific design is praiseworthy.”

In line with current social distancing measures, the pubs will be recognised at an event hosted in CAMRA’s new virtual pub, the Red (On)Lion by judges at 7pm on 7th May. To join the event and congratulate the pub owners and designers, simply visit https://theredonlion.co.uk/bar/join/Pub-Design-Awards to book a place (spaces limited to the first 50 participants).

Locals can digitally ‘visit’ the pubs by browsing the CAMRA library of the winners, available to view on Dropbox.