The Cribbar, Newquay, Cornwall

by Sarah 30 November 2012
  • of

    The brief: To create a surf-inspired bar and club for a new JD Wetherspoon 6,000sq. ft. property in the centre of Newquay, Cornwall- a radical design departure for the group. Opening Date: 14th August 2012.

    The challenge: Surfing culture is based on the idea of creativity, spontaneity and environmental-savvy with a little dash of anti-establishment, so the design needed to reflect this and avoid potential ‘surfer' clichés.

    Our approach: A design inspired by modern recycled materials used in a creative and unexpected way, allowing the space to move seamlessly from day to night. This was developed in consultation with Carve Magazine to ensure that surf culture was accurately reflected.

    As a central feature of the property, the bar needed to work hard to fulfil the design approach. This was achieved through a 16 feet solid cast concrete bar with bright yellow swell arrows inlaid in resin. Mounted behind this was a screen allowing customers to watch live contests and current swell charts. The front of the bar housed images from the book ‘Surfers Tribe' screen printed onto white tiles.

    Installations of ‘Sex Wax' motifs were used, and the classic surf phrase‘you should have been here yesterday' was etched into a solid concrete wall. Tactile materials and overstitching were used to reflect wetsuits and post-surf blankets. 

    Vast gold ceiling volcanoes were crafted from GRP plaster, with the shape and light shafts echoing the feeling of being at the bottom of the sea. This also provided the transitional lighting required to take the bar from day to night.

    In the loos ‘pop' coloured urinals by Philip Watts Design and street-inspired graffiti by Ceri Pashley adorned the walls.  In the ladies, an anti-room was created to house a 14-seat dressing table.

    Vertical timber cladding details to both doors and the building exterior offered visual cues to boardwalks and beach-side properties.

    Outside, locally sourced and fabricated stools and tables were sited alongside 2metre bespoke geometric planters. Wire formations on the stools were used to echo the subtle surf scheme. Additional seating was creating through Chesterfield-inspired concrete sofas, providing synergy with the palette of materials inside.

    The results: An extremely happy client with a busy bar, cited as Esquire's ‘Bar of the Week' and featured in both national and local editorial. Major social media pulling power with lots of surfers posting pictures and glowing comments about The Cribbar.

    Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

    Contact The Team