Pub designs slaughtered

Designers have leapt to the defence of modern pub design after a second bout of criticism of the industry in recent weeks.

The Which? Guide to Country Pubs, published last week, slates themed-pub design. Editor David Mabey says: “It’s a sad exercise that appears to… rip the heart and soul out of any decent hostelry”.

Criticism follows last month’s announcement that English Heritage Pub Design Awards’ judges declined to give an award in the New-Build Pub category for the twelfth year running. Organiser, the Campaign for Real Ale, said submissions “bore the unmistakable imprint of pseudo-Victoriana”.

But Paul Butler of Butler Cornfield Dedman, developers of themed pubs for Bass, says formulas applied ensure consistent quality. “The pubs are not resting on their laurels,” he says.

Roger Gascoigne of The Design Solution says its clients, including the Pitcher and Piano chain, “would shudder at the suggestion” that they rolled out inappropriate formulaic design.

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