Bristol based multidisciplinary design studio, Studio B partnered with Independent brewery Wiper and True on their second taproom in Bristol, to provide the most welcoming, inclusive drinking experience for all visitors. Speaking about the project, Studio B founder Kyle Clarke says, We were approached by the Wiper and True team to see if we would be interested in designing & delivering their new 5000sq/ft taproom with a further 7000sq/ft of outside space, set within their state of the art brewery they were planning to build in Old Market, Bristol. The answer was quite an easy YES! After a brief pitching process Studio B was selected by a hugely well organised, motivated and aligned W&T team to deliver their vision.
Over a fairly intense three month design phase which was full to the brim with ideas and passion for making a brewery that was as open and inclusive to people from all walks of life as possible, escaping the typical overly masculine trend that has been dominating the brewery scene for the past decade.
Some of the biggest parts of the projects were the 18m steel and glass dividing wall that we designed to separate the taproom from the brewery, the two new openings we cut into the side of the building to bring more natural light into the space and the super inclusive, completely reworked unisex toilets that we squeezed into the space. Working with the Wiper & True team was an inspirational process, they never took their eyes of the prize despite what challenges we faced or allowed their unwavering moral compass to slip off their true North.”
Throughout the project, Studio B tried to keep the footprint as small as possible, working with local suppliers including with Chroma Sparks on the bar countertops, only using small workshops within a thirty mile radius from the site for all the steel work and furniture as well as local ash in all the carpentry. Tiles came from UK based Casa Ceramica in Manchester. Whilst coming from a bit further afield, lighting units designed by Heijltjes Akkaya for Prooff are created in no-waste production cycles. Lastly, by filling the interior and the beer garden with plants meant decorative elements could be kept minimal whilst adding a lovely natural feel to the space.
Speaking about the venue, marketing manager Alice Howells says, When the Wiper and True team began planning our new venue, we knew from the start that we wanted to make a space that was as inclusive and welcoming to as many people as possible. This guiding principle helped us make decisions throughout the project, affecting everything from our aesthetic design choices to the range of drinks we offer at the bar. We wanted to create a sheltered, green oasis, close to but hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city, so that stepping inside our venue was like taking a deep breath.
The beautiful, plant-filled taproom and beer garden are designed by Studio B. It was important to Wiper and True to work with a local studio, who also prioritised the use of sustainable materials and local makers and manufacturers as much as possible.”
The venue aims to provide an experience that is accessible – and enjoyable – to as many people as possible. There is level access throughout, a large section of dropped height bar for wheelchair access, and an accessible toilet. There are accessible car parking spots, and there will always be plenty of seating with moveable furniture and low-height tables reserved for wheelchair access. Wiper and True have a large print drinks menu available, and some of the venue signage is printed in braille. The bar staff are all trained to look out for anyone who may face communication challenges, and will always do their absolute best to ensure that everyone can comfortably order a drink in a way that suits them, and then enjoy the venue.
Architects: Studio B
Photographs: Pete Helme