The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Centre

Speyside, Scotland

The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Centre

Partially embedded within the sloping hillside, the ground-breaking Macallan Distillery and Visitor Centre in Speyside is defined by its dramatic and breath-taking undulating green roof that both subtly conceals and hints at the production within.

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The new distillery sits within the Easter Elchies estate in Scotland, an estate that has been distilling the celebrated single malt whisky since 1824. With the demand for Macallan Whisky ever-growing, the Edrington Group commissioned architects Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners to create an iconic building that could provide capacity for increased production, as well as a facility that could offer fundamental flexibility to expand to meet future, growing demands.

As Speyside is a designated Area of Great Landscape Value the distillery had to be sympathetic to its environment. The industrial nature of the building’s function is sensitively concealed within a grass-covered timber grid structure that rises and falls to accommodate the distillery's five production cells. The facility is embedded within the sloping ground, maximising level changes, and leaving the distinctive roofline to be announced from afar.

Gillespies' inspiration behind the landscape expands upon and celebrates the unique and familiar characteristics of the area that so successfully marry the natural with the industrial, combining the natural elements of water, stone, sun and barley — elements so inherent in the whisky-making craft. A series of new outdoor experiences and dramatic arrival spaces send visitors on a dynamic journey through the landscapes that unfurl and reveal the built form beneath them.