JD Wetherspoon wins Pub Design Awards

The 1999 Pub Design Awards run by The Campaign for Real Ale has resulted in an unprecedented double victory for Independent pub chain JD Wetherspoon.

The Half Moon on London’s Mile End Road and the Billiard Hall, West Bromwich, have jointly scooped the top honour in the “conversion to pub use” category. Lawrence Tring designed the London venue, while Hawkins Brown Maber Associates worked on the Midlands site.

Judging panel chairman Steve Parissien says: “JD Wetherspoon is now becoming an expert in sensitive conversions of problematic but rewarding historic buildings.”

JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin says, “We’ll continue to invest in new pubs across the UK with design at the forefront. We aim for an individual look and feel for each pub.”

The best pub refurbishment award goes to Liverpool’s The Dispensary, developed by Cains Brewery and described by the panel as “another example of a neglected old building rising spectacularly from the ashes”.

Meanwhile, judges felt “unable” to award prizes in the three other categories – the Joe Goodwin award, a section focusing on whole pubs than solely beer, the New Build award and the English Heritage Conservation award.

“The chaos and uncertainty prevalent in the brewing world has led to the construction of fewer new pubs of real design quality for the New Build award, while many of 1999’s entries for the English Heritage Conservation section seemed to equate the conservation concept with wholesale gutting and reinventing history,” says a CAMRA spokesman.

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