Spirits company, Edrington has unveiled a new $253 million distillery - a striking piece of contemporary architecture that will increase production by a third while cutting down on their power bills.
The distillery, designed by architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, is cut into the slope of the land, taking its cues from ancient Scottish hills and maximising the aesthetic beauty of the building whilst minimising the visual impact on the Speyside landscape. The undulating timber roof structure is one of the most complicated timber roof structures in the world, comprising 380,000 individual components.
There is an Australian connection here as well - Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners are also part of the Melbourne Metro Tunnel design team, Australia’s largest city making project.
The first whisky ran through the stills in December last year and the visitor experience opened its doors to the public on 2nd June.
Edrington is investing a total of $AUD 902 million in the brand with the distillery as the centrepiece. This program increases investment in whisky, warehousing, and particularly in their world renowned whisky, The Macallan’s signature sherry-seasoned oak casks.
The striking piece of contemporary architecture is cut into the slope of the land, taking its cues from ancient Scottish hills and maximising the aesthetic beauty of the building whilst minimising the visual impact on the Speyside landscape, which has been classified as an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’.
The undulating timber roof structure is one of the most complicated timber roof structures in the world, comprising 380,000 individual components.
Each junction and beam has a specific name and has been tested in over 160 different load conditions while ‘The Swiss Alpine Design code’ has been used to understand the effects of wind, snow and ice on the intricate structure.
Working in close collaboration with Arup the project has maximised the available opportunities to reduce energy consumption. The process of distillation is immensely demanding of heat and energy but the scheme is able to utilise steam that is generated in an adjacent forestry commission biomass plant.
When operating at full capacity this will supply 80 percent of the energy for the production distillery. In turn, the process of distillation generates large quantities of low grade waste heat which in normal distilling environments is encouraged to escape.
At the Macallan, this waste low grade heat is captured and via a heat exchanger is used to pre-heat the hot water demands for the production welfare facilities and the visitor centre.