Mowat & Company completes a tradition-inflected store for wine merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd


Joakim Blockstrom

London’s oldest wine merchant, Berry Bros. & Rudd, has sold wine from the corner of St James’s Street and Pall Mall since 1698. A new retail space, designed by Mowat & Company, aims to tap into this heritage while giving fresh expression and an open, welcoming character to the venerable institution. “The determining factor in the success of this project has been to understand the character of the Berry Bros. & Rudd brand”, says the architect. “We identified the ‘instantly and instinctively recognisable’ aspects of the shop, such as the ‘ting’ of the bell which greets you as you enter, and the dark green painted shopfront which has been repainted many times over the years”.


“The new store has been designed to evolve the traditions and culture of the special relationship between Berry Bros. & Rudd and their customers”, says the architect. “The space is open and welcoming so that everyone from novices to fully fledged wine connoisseurs can share the experience and expertise on offer.”


The store is clearly segmented and includes a gifting area for wine glasses, books and accessories. Circulation was designed with central tills, removing a traditional barrier to allow customers to stand side-by-side with shop attendants. A display system comprising wall units and gondolas showcases 1,300 wines and spirits, with each bottle in its own niche. Routed borders to each cell and a stained oak finish elevate the status of each bottle. Lighting conditions vary over the course of the day and evening.


The rural provenance of the wines is referenced by a ceiling made from 100-year-old wine barrel staves, which were reclaimed by the design team from a vineyard in France. Geometrical display shelving was inspired by a rustic wall composed of angled terracotta tiles, found in an Italian landscape. In the store, this geometry enables each distinct display to hold extensive tasting notes.


Textured and tactile materials including leather and cork have been selected to “wear in and not to wear out”. Natural stone has been used to make a tasting area, and a fine wine reserve is screened by bronze doors. “The store celebrates the craftsmanship of the many specialists that contributed their skills, from traditional gold sign-writing and bell making, to state-of-the-art Enomatic tasting machines”, says the architect.


Mowat & Company
Graphic designer
Lighting designer
Structural engineer
Fluid Structures
M&E engineer


Bespoke shopfront paints
Papers & Paints
Allgood, Joseph Giles, Strada
iGuzzini, Mike Stoane, LED Linear, Original BTC, Xenia
Oak flooring
Bronze-framed doors
Calling bell
Whitechapel Bell Foundry
Worktops & shelving
GEC Anderson