Town Hall Hotel upgrade interior bar

This historic 153-year-old pub in Waratah, NSW was given a modern upgrade in a timeframe of just 15 weeks.

Completed in 1866, the heritage-listed Town Hall Hotel was one of the first buildings in the locality to receive a liquor license.

Town Hall Hotel exterior


The brief was to retain the legacy of the building as a locals’ pub, yet inject a contemporary style that would open it up to new patrons.

Design solutions

Town Hall Hotel upgrade exterior brickwork

In response to the brief, the architects decided to open up the public bar while retaining its cosy atmosphere.

Externally, the decision was made to demolish some of the building’s poor-quality additions and build a high-quality gaming room extension. The extension was made from masonry, referencing the existing hotel through materiality and in essence.

Town Hall Hotel upgrade interior gaming extension

While the hotel had a lot of poor additions, it also had a lot of redeeming features. For example, one of the hotel’s best features was its pressed tin ceiling and cornices, which the architects decided to highlight. All design decisions were made around them, including how to restore and enhance the ceilings while incorporating modern lighting, sound and fire requirements.

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