The Waggon Pub

The Waggon is a newly renovated former working-class pub in North Hobart. With ninety percent of the original inter-war style building fabric retained, the interior is inspired by the pub’s roaring heydays of the seventies and the desire to once again be at the centre of community life.

This project embarked on an unconventional journey without a predefined
end-user brief; rather, it was a simple directive to rejuvenate an old pub. Collaborating closely with the client and project architect, we crafted a layout grounded in thorough operational analysis while preserving quintessential features of the classic inner-city corner pub, like a welcoming, expansive bar at the entrance.

Retaining the original brick structure’s robustness, we uncovered weathered concrete columns and beams from a previous renovation, integrating them into the design narrative. Our focus was on creating compelling micro spaces within these volumes, allowing patrons to tailor their experiences.

Utilising honest, workmanlike materials—polished concrete, hard plastering, handmade tiles, leather, stainless steel, and brass—we paid homage to the Waggon & Horse’s blue-collar heritage and the vibrant ambience of the seventies. Elements like the low-slung conversation nook, lively tiled bars, and textured acoustic ceiling panels evoke nostalgia while offering contemporary comfort.

Carefully selected local art, integrated from the project’s inception, enriches the main dining area, contributing to each space’s character and the overarching design language. This combination of thoughtful design, historic reverence, and local art defines our vision for a revitalised pub experience.

Project / The Waggon
Project Architects / Philp Lighton Architects
Interior Design / Valentine Interiors & Design
Build / Tim McDevitt Building
Photography / Adam Gibson

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