The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Architects: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Location: Scotland, UK
Year: 2018

The new Macallan distillery and visitor experience is set into the landscape of the estate that has been distilling the world’s leading single malt since 1824. The Macallan is one of the most sought after whiskys in the world and wanted to create a building that could reveal the production processes and welcome visitors while remaining sensitive to the beautiful surrounding countryside.

The new distillery will enable production of The Macallan to increase by a third if required. Internally, a series of production cells are arranged in a linear format with an open-plan layout revealing all stages of the production process at once. These cells are reflected above the building in the form of a gently undulating timber roof. Grass-covered peaks rise and fall from The Macallan estate grounds, signaling to approaching visitors the activities housed beneath.

Set into the naturally sloping contours of the site, the design makes direct references to ancient Scottish earthworks.

The visitor experience starts with an introduction to The Macallan in an exhibition and gallery area, before progressing through a sequence of spaces that follow the production story of the whisky.

Natural materials – local stone, timber and the living meadow roof – as well as the landscaping design not only evoke the environment and ingredients of whisky production but also serve to provide an atmospheric journey for the visitor.