Renovation and reinvigoration in late-night London venue

The Challenge

After successfully trading for a number of years as Abacus, Novus Leisure briefed us to completely renovate and reinvigorate this late-night London venue, which had lost its shine, and which was significantly under-trading.

Originally a bank, the venue was listed and required specialist treatment. Architectural restrictions had to be met and the impact of the original features maximised. The available floor space was multi-level, so the design needed to draw custom through the entire building. An accelerated works programme had to cover the three floors plus significant internal changes, such as a bar relocation.

The Solution

We completed a fresh new design and change of name to ‘Forge’.

Forge’s ground floor entrance now opens onto a relocated bar area, incorporating folded metal and pewter which celebrate the venue’s strong industrial theme. An open kitchen adds theatricality to the lower restaurant area, with food cooked on elevated grills.

The basement level is stripped back to reveal more of the original architectural structure. A new island bar introduces a stylish cocktail lounge ambience with booth seating radiating from this central focus. As guests continue their journey through Forge, the late night club area becomes increasingly raw and uncompromising with a more standout DJ booth and VIP area.

Throughout the refurbishment, the historic status of the building, which was once a bank, has been carefully accentuated by the Harrison design team, and the layout sensitively and skilfully devised.


The Success

Forge opened in 2014 to rave reviews, wowing all with its multi-layered hospitality leisure experience and innovative industrial design chic. Harrison’s transformation of the listed venue was completed within an impressively short seven week closure, with great care given to maximising the historic aspects of the building. The end result showcases traditional finishes with a modern execution.

Forge won ALMR – Best Late night venue in 2015 – a testament to everyone at Forge.