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Design matters
Article date: 16 Apr 2013

Wetherspoon’s new pub in Poynton sits on a site which was farmland up until 1964, when The Kingfisher public house was built there. Over the years, the pub has had many names. To the delight of many, the purchase and major refurbishment of the pub by Wetherspoon have seen the original name reinstated and new life breathed into the building. The stunning design owes much to the building’s history and local surroundings.

Indeed, the challenge to the team at locally based Architect CT was to create a modern, welcoming pub which could encapsulate the area’s strong industrial heritage and sense of community.

That heritage is strongly linked to industry: the railways, coal mines and brickworks.

The area is also where the Pickford family, who built the internationally renowned removals business, has its foundations – quite literally. The family started business as a local quarry owner, moving stones, mending roads and transporting goods by horse and cart, barge, ship and train – even carrying people to London as passengers in the Pickford fly wagons.

So, where do you begin in the transformation of the pub?

Well, the team thought it best to start with a blank canvass. While they retained the existing shell of the property, the inside had a full strip-out, giving plenty of space for the creative juices to craft a pub with a story to tell.

As you enter the pub’s grand entrance lobby, a high-level brickwork feature contrasts sharply with modern lighting, expressing the organic progression of the village which is changing and moving with the times.

The bird which gives the pub its name is also not forgotten. There is a sculpture of a kingfisher on the bar, while the architects have used interesting shapes and undulations in the building to suggest the flow of a river.

Everywhere you look, there seems to be a focal point, be it the furnace-like industrial fireplace, the window into the working cellar or the canopy over the beer garden. The pub manages to combine intimacy with grandeur – rooms are formed with screens, and atmospheric lighting serves to highlight the soft, rhythmic shapes.

The designers have also used Poynton’s traditional village diamond motif to good effect, replicating its diamond shape on various finishes – carpets, flooring, wall tiles and the external zinc wall-cladding all carry the motif.

Local artists have also played their part. Rob Wilson has provided paintings of the local church and the community centre, while David Bez has used old Poynton colliery photos as inspiration for a series of paintings.

The Kingfisher is a modern and enthusiastic scheme which echoes Poynton’s historic roots and promotes community spirit.

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