Some of the most fruitful design outcomes arise when client and designer have implicit confidence and trust in one another – and this is one such project. Having worked with Fuller’s on countless refurbishments – including the award-winning Tap on the Line in Richmond – Concorde BGW has built a real understanding of the brand, and were given full trust to deliver the project in return.
“Our brief was to design a concept that was both sympathetic to a Grade II Listed Victorian building steeped in a rich heritage but also to incorporate modern expectations,” explains Karim Mezeli, head of design at Concorde BGW.
“The existing features of the pub formed the DNA of the design – it’s such an incredible attractive building and our job was to build on that and bring it to life. Victorian grandeur can be seen throughout, with nods to a bohemian aesthetic characteristic to Herne Hill.”
Concorde BGW was not just restricted to the pub’s interior, however, but was also instrumental in formulating a whole new character for the venue as it transitioned back to its former role as a hotel. 12 boutique and individually-designed bedrooms have been added, each named after one of the 12 men who have walked on the Moon.
“The new guest rooms feature striking House of Hackney wallpaper, an eclectic mix of reclaimed and antique furniture, Roberts radio’s and bespoke lunar-themed lights,” explains Karim.
“The pub’s name also played a large part in the design, with details focusing on astronomical elements seen through original artwork, lunar botanics and a bespoke wallpaper in the main suite showcasing both the dark and light side of the moon.”
The difficult aspect of the project for Concorde BGW was treading that fine line between modernising and improving the pub, while still retaining the unique character at the heart of its experience – a challenge the firm has handled with ease.
“To update and upgrade the services to allow the building to offer a premium product was challenging,” Karim affirms. “We worked very closely with a conservation officer to reach mutual beneficial concepts and designs.”
The transformed restaurant area thus has a sense of bohemian decadence, fused with a botanical ambiance. The space sits behind the main bar, which has been sympathetically refurbished, its original stained-glass windows, woodwork and painted mirrors brought back to pristine condition.
Other major additions to the venue include a brand new state-of-the-art kitchen and, to the rear of the pub, a newly opened up dining area. The pub’s landscaped garden, complete with outside bar, fire pit and barbecue, provides an oasis for eating, drinking and relaxing despite being just a stone’s throw from the busy Half Moon Road.
“The Half Moon has set a new standard, not just in Fuller’s – but for the wider industry, in how to sympathetically refurbish a historic pub,” comments Fuller’s Inns MD, Jonathon Swaine said. “The Half Moon has a history and heritage that deserves to be recognised and respected – and I truly believe we have succeeded in doing that.”
“The acquisition of this well-known pub offered both Concorde BGW and Fullers an amazing opportunity to restore a famous Victorian gem. Not only do Concorde BGW celebrate its heritage but they have also bought the building up to date and created South London’s coolest new hang out – a place for the locals to wine, dine and relax in but also a spot on the map for travellers with a design scheme that successfully celebrates the multiple histories of the sites existence.”