Jestico + Whiles

Jestico + Whiles

London, GB


Shilling Brewing Co.

As a result of the outstanding success of Jestico + Whiles’ designs for food and drink group Glendola Leisure at both Alston Bar & Beef and Gordon St. Coffee, the practice completed the new Shilling Brewing Co. Located in a Grade B-listed bank that marks the prominent corner of Glasgow’s West George St with West Nile St, the bar opened in June 2016.

The new 150-seat brew house is set inside the former Commercial Bank of Scotland, built in the 1920s and designed by architect James Miller. The building is infused with subtle art deco and Egyptian revival references designed to reflect the well-travelled and cultural clientele of Glasgow’s banks.

Our design strips back the 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, our 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 beer hall with a long bar, behind which the copper vessels of the brewery sit on an elevated gantry creating a distinctive backdrop.

Visitors to the brew house 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 stage 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 chequered black and white, while hidden behind the strong room, a private space with a picture window provides views to the cellar.

The design responds to the client’s simple brief to create the best brew house in Glasgow. The team worked carefully to reveal the original interiors and have overlaid contemporary features that resonate with the building’s rich history.  

The practice was responsible for the graphics and visual identity, which references the traditional swirling ‘guilloche’ patterns on banknotes and includes a purpose-made typeface called Brew Type.

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Status: Built
Location: Glasgow, GB
Firm Role: Interior Designers