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Online Exclusive – Drygate Brewing Co., Glasgow

Aug 13, 2014


“If you have any fondness at all for industrial buildings, then Drygate is an absolute fantasy,” says designer Lauren Li Porter of Glasgow design firm Graven Images. Built on Glasgow’s oldest brewing site, the restaurant and bar accompanies the first experiential craft brewery in the UK and echoes the property’s eccentric past.

                             
                                                                Photography by Gordon Burniston

In the 1960s-dated building, a box factory, print works factory, bottling plant, and an office and storage space all preceded Drygate. “We took a lot of cues from the building itself and the objects we found inside,” says Li Porter, adding that the team had discovered an odd collection of grandfather clocks, kegs, and swivel chairs within the warehouse. “We wanted to accomplish the restoration without losing the interesting fragments that had been inherited from all [the building’s] past lives and occupants,” she explains. “Throughout the whole process we were negotiating what was absolutely necessary against what we could leave untouched.”

                           
                                                               Photography by Gordon Burniston

The concrete floor preserves old paint marks and storage bay markings, while the warehouse’s sliding doors were rehung. Discarded schoolroom chairs found in the building became loose seating, and defunct ventilation fans were reinterpreted as large-scale graphics. “I have a real soft spot for elaborately configured pieces of old machinery, and there were a lot of abandoned pieces of brewing equipment lying dormant that were quite formative in the look and feel of both the restaurant and the bar and function space,” Li Porter explains.

                           
                                                               Photography by Gordon Burniston

Split into a beer hall-style bar and a function space, the first floor is illuminated by large warehouse pendants, while fluorescents in the function space recall original trough fittings. “The lighting was a means of defining what are three very varied characters of spaces,” says Li Porter. “The restaurant features a mixture of unassuming Coolicon pendants, prismatic pendants salvaged from an arms factory in the Czech Republic, and some quite ‘bling-ing’ metallic Artek pendants above the more formal dining tables.” Festoon site lighting was also hung from the existing roof trusses throughout.

                          
                                                               Photography by Gordon Burniston

The roof itself plays into the design of the space. Its distinctive seven peaks add a fourth landmark to three other iconic edifices in the area—a Victorian necropolis, the nearby brewery towers, and the city’s high-rise apartments. “We worked the peaked line at all scales of the scheme,” Li Porter says. All of the bespoke furniture and metal works reference the peaks with geometric stitching in the seating and angled table braces. In the viewing glass between the restaurant and bar and the brewery, the mesh itself has a 45-degree angle that subtly hints at the concept.

                         
                                                                  Photography by Gordon Burniston

This panoramic glass screen doubles as a space divider and a shared noticeboard for brewers and restaurant staff. “Drygate’s a working brewery and it was crucial to bear in mind that this was the main event rather than acting as an accessory to the restaurant and bar,” Li Porter explains. A mesh-clad wall of beer offerings acts as a menu and a backdrop for diners and drinkers. Artwork that adorns several other walls, as well as the labels for the house-made beer, was created by students from the Glasgow School of Art.

                              
                                                                           Photography by Gordon Burniston

“You appreciate the full impact of the presence of brewing site next door,” says Li Porter. “We liked the idea that you can drink your one pint while looking at a tower filled with a million of them.”

                             
                                                                         Photography by Gordon Burniston





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hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.

 

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Produced by: Emerald Expositions
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