· Can you describe the project?
Michael Laird Architects along with the Design Team were commissioned to design a purpose-built distillery for William Grant and Sons. The principle function of the building was to serve as the new iconic home for their eccentric Hendrick’s Gin. Architecturally the project is a significant departure from anything the distillers have previously realised and is designed in conjunction with their distinctive brand. The building is located on the site of their existing distillery, which is located on the South-West Coast of Scotland. The new distillery doubles their current production capacity and has been designed to allow for future expansion.
The distillery is formed of four key elements;
· a Victorian inspired walled garden enclosing three distinctive Glasshouses.
· a central accommodation spine housing a bar, a lab space and a lecture theatre.
· three individual still houses.
· external service yard with support facilities for the distillation process.
The Gin Palace serves as a platform to allow Hendricks to educate their brand ambassadors and open their minds to the wonderful world of Hendricks. It also provides training facilities which will help to inspire bartenders, but, most importantly it gives Hendrick’s a fitting home for their wonderfully eccentric Gin.
· From which point of view was the design of the Victorian ‘Gin Palace’ established?
The Hendrick’s brand team created a detailed brief fitting of the wonderfully elaborate world which they have created around their Gin. As a design team we were tasked with bringing their aspirations to life and the outcome is the Gin Palace which you see today.
· Did you have any guidelines or conditions to follow for the execution of the project?
Yes, working within such a quirky brief created many opportunities and significant challenges. We had to create a very functional process driven building which allowed the Client to efficiently produce their spirit. All whilst developing a building which adhered to the brand aesthetic and created a series of interesting spaces which architecturally responded to the brand. This was done in collaboration with Scarinish Studio who were the Brand designers.
· What made you choose for Brickworks Vande Moortel and in particular our facing bricks?
Having searched UK suppliers unsuccessfully for a black, low-profile brick for some time. It was on a short trip to Amsterdam where I was inspired by the beautiful brick architecture and motivated me to look to further afield for the right brick.
· How does this brick contribute to the concept of the project?
It was ideal. Our project was heavily inspired by the Victorian era where brickwork was widely used to great effect. We wanted to use brick to relate the building to the Victorian era in a contemporary way. The non-standard profile of the brick really helped to achieve this.
· How does the brick matches with the other materials applied?
Our material palette for the project was quite simple; glass, steel and brick with the predominant colour being black. This strongly relates to the Brand allowing the bright copper stills within the central still house to become the internal focal point. Externally the brick contrasts with the lush green plants housed within the glasshouses and allows them take center stage within the building.
· Why did you choose this colour of brick?
The black brick was selected for two reasons, firstly as mentioned above black relates strongly to the brand colours. Secondly, a black fugus which grows in ethanol rich atmospheres like distillery’s, means that most structures within the distillery grounds are covered in a black coating after a few years. A black brick allowed us to reduce the impact of this as a result.