The Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s top visitor attraction. It’s an incredible space however the food and drink outlets had become tired having not been updated for a number of years. We were briefed to redesign four outlets in total – one on the 1st floor and three on the 5th floor.
The 5th floor is a dedicated food and drink space within the building and therefore the overall 5th floor concourse also needed to be considered – to both finish the space and make it easy for the visitor to navigate the different offerings. It was important that each unit looked appealing and spoke of the offer housed within when viewed from the concourse. With this in mind the concourse was treated like a streetscape with a shop-like façade at the entrance to each unit. Materials used reflect the industrial nature of those used throughout the building in heavy duty metals, rivet fixings and steel chains. We also employed hand-painting where possible as this was a technique that would have been used at the time the brewery was founded.
On the 5th floor, ‘1837’ was a new Brasserie style offering – the year was the earliest recorded mention of Guinness and food as a pair. We wanted to use the opportunity of the short numerical name to create a bold identity. The identity was used at scale on two adjoining walls to give it presence on the 5th floor concourse and attract visitors. Inside we gave the space a contemporary brasserie feel in its graphic and signage treatment. Next to 1837 is the Brewers’ Dining Hall. For this we had a large wooden gate constructed harking back to the wooden gates that Guinness brewers historically entered through, and had graphics hand painted onto it.
Arthur’s Bar was to be recast as ‘the Brewer’s bar’ focusing on the skill of the Guinness Master Brewers across the generations. We began by creating a modern interpretation of a Brewers’ mark housing the name and signature of the original Master Brewer, Arthur Guinness. We worked to imbue the space with the spirit of the Master Brewer; from hanging brew boards to facts applied to exterior tiled walls. Materials and techniques used, such as leather, reclaimed wood, metal chains and hand-painting, were sympathetic to the building and the theme.
A coffee shop on the first floor was reimagined as The Cooperage. We worked with the Guinness Archive to look back at the original Guinness Cooperage and the barrels it produced. The stencilled fonts that appeared on the top of these barrels were used as inspiration for the identity. Wood is a key material in a Cooperage so we used this extensively and authentically stencilled items with graphics. Tiles were hand-painted and table tops were etched to resemble barrel tops (using barrel numbers from the original cooperage). Guinness Brown Bread was to be sold so a roll of brown paper was designed, containing the recipe from which it was made, to wrap purchased loaves in.