Commercial property

Swindon pub wins award for 'praiseworthy' design

Written by Peter Davison.

The Hall & Woodhouse


A canal-side pub in Swindon has won a major award for its design and layout.

The Hall & Woodhouse at Wichelstowe will tonight (Thursday) pick up the New Build Award at the Pub Design Awards from the Campaign for Real Ale.

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.

The awards ceremony will be held online at CAMRA’s new virtual pub, the Red (On)Lion.

Built as part of the Wichelstowe housing expansion, the Hall & Woodhouse occupies a prominent canal-side site and, says CAMRA, is an important asset for the emerging community.

The judges praised the form of the building, which looks to reflect the architectural heritage of industrial Swindon, evoking imagery of the open trussed roofs of the train sheds and warehouses.

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 internals are a juxtaposition of industrial structure and soft furnishings, with walls adorned with local, boatbuilding, family and brewing heritage images.

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.”

Image courtesy of CAMRA / Ben Pipe Photography