Mason & Company 01.07.16

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mason and co

With its post-post-industrial aesthetic, Five Points Brewing Company’s craft-beer bar reflects the changing face of London’s Olympic neighbourhood

Smug hangs thick in the air in east London’s Hackney Wick, but it’s still easy to see that change is underway. In 2013, this former industrial district was home to more than 600 artists’ studios. But the arrival of the 2012 Olympic Park speeded up a shift in the demographic that is sharply reflected in the area’s canal-side bars. Put simply, it’s more suits, fewer moustaches.

New craft-beer bar Mason & Company – launched by the Five Points Brewing Company and designed by Fleet Architects, both from Hackney – is symptomatic of these changes. Absent is the familiar aesthetic of distressed walls and reclaimed chairs; in their place are bespoke furniture and soft lighting.

Fleet’s Jaime Bishop attributes this partly to the fact that the bar sits in a new building, so lacks the post-industrial aesthetic of most others nearby. ‘We also felt there was an opportunity to connect craft ale with a less “macho” market, where the space is comfortable rather than intentionally crude,’ he says.

A long box with a single aspect over the canal, the space is dominated by light birch ply, which offers a contrast to the concrete walls and contains hidden LEDs for gradated lighting. A floor-to-ceiling slatted timber structure creates a series of cosy booths, breaks up the space, conceals services and dampens noise. Diamond-shaped tiles and touches of fabric add warmth and texture. It’s a simple, refined design, but it also seems to signal the end of an era for Hackney Wick. Where to next?



Debika Ray


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