Pumphuset (The Pump House)
- a modern beer hall in the abandoned factory
The town of Borås, once the heart of the Swedish textile industry, was hit hard by decline in the 1970s. But now Borås is back on its feet, and is once again home to a range of successful design and fashion companies. The old industrial estate known as Simonsland, where artificial silk fabrics were once made, is now the home to several of Sweden's leading textile training and education programs, the Borås College of Textile Science, the Borås Textile Museum, and a business incubator focusing on design and textile innovation. Simonsland is also were you'll find The Company restaurant, another Stylt project inspired by local history.
Right next door, hard by the river Viskan, which bisects the industrial estate, is the old factory pump house. As the textile manufacturing process consumed enormous amounts of water, the pump house was the heart of the entire operation.
Kanico, the owner of the property, wanted to turn it into a modern yet rustic beer hall. The ambition was to create something different from the town's existing, more predictable offerings of pubs and sports bars – a watering hole with a difference, rooted in the local industrial heritage.
The first order of the day was to preserve the unique atmosphere of the building, along with all its charming details such as old pumping equipment, pipes and electrical fittings, leaving all the natural wear-and-tear intact. The old concrete floor was dyed in patches – a reference to the old days, when it was said that you could tell the season's fashionable colours from the hue of the river Viskan. Occasionally the river would break its banks and stain everything in its path.
The name was a given - The Pump House. The first thing you see as you enter is the long bar, built around one of the water pumps. With around 120 kinds of beer available, including some locally brewed, beer lovers are well catered for, but of course wine and food are also served. Bottles, crates and barrels are kept in full view of the guests, forming part of the decoration.
The interior is dominated by materials with integrity, materials that will, or that already have, aged beautifully, many of them reclaimed or repurposed. Generously proportioned tables, made for sharing, contribute to the hospitable and welcoming feeling of a genuine beer hall. The foundation of an old cistern has been transformed into seating which also, if need be, can be turned into a small stage. Two of the walls have been covered in murals that tell the story of the noble fluids now running through the Pump House's pipes.
The Pump House has already become the most individual drinking establishment in Borås – a modern beer hall in an old industrial space, filled with a sense of community.