Jestico and Whiles Designs Glasgow Bar and Brewery in Former Commercial Bank of Scotland

Jestico + Whiles Designs Glasgow Bar & Brewery in Former Commercial Bank of Scotland

Jestico + Whiles has completed the new Shilling Bar & Brewery in Glasgow. Opened this month, the new 160-seat brewpub is set inside the former Commercial Bank of Scotland built in the 1920s.

Jestico + Whiles' design strips back the former interior of architectural 'clutter' - including a mezzanine floor, steel staircase and an intrusive bar - to reveal for the first time in decades, a beautifully proportioned banking hall with 20ft-high coffered ceilings. Out of respect for the history of the space, Jestico + Whiles' restrained intervention allows for more natural light to enter through the original full-height windows.

Fragments of the past have been uncovered and cleaned, including fluted marble columns that frame a glimpsed view to a wood-burning oven. The columns are designed to create a picture frame for moving projected images that will be curated to change with the seasons.

This newly liberated space has become the brewpub with a long bar behind which the copper vessels of the brewery sit on an elevated gantry creating a distinctive backdrop.

Visitors to the brewpub are met with a mural of a chained, majestic unicorn the most resonant of Scotland's heraldic symbols that has been boldly applied to the panelling by local artist Gaz Mackay.

A huge inset star embossed into the concrete floor signs the way to the bar, while a timber raised area, seared with the brand of Shilling is framed by theatre curtains and will serve as a semi-private zone if required.

In the basement, the original foot-thick steel vault doors lead to the bathrooms tiled in black-and-white chequer board while, hidden behind the strong room, a private space with a picture window provides views to the brew room.

"Our design for Shilling responds to our client's simple brief to create the best brewpub in Glasgow," commented James Dilley, Head of hospitality and interior design at Jestico + Whiles. "We have worked carefully to reveal the original interiors and have overlaid contemporary features that resonate with the building's rich history."

Photography: James Harris

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