Last edited 09 Aug 2019

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Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience

Macallan-Distillery riba.jpg
Image courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Rogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersMacallan Distillery and Visitor Experience was shortlisted in August 2019 for the UK’s prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize.

'The Macallan' is already established as one of the most famous whisky makers in the world. The company wanted a new centre that could reveal the production processes and welcome visitors while remaining sensitive to the beautiful surrounding countryside. Designed by senior partner Graham Stirk, with associate partner Toby Jeavons as project architect, the building’s exterior displays sensitivity to its location while highlighting a new phase of the practice’s architectural outputs.

Macallan 2.jpg
Image courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Speaking as the shortlist was announced, senior design partner Graham Stirk said: “We are understandably delighted to be included on the shortlist. It has been an honour to have assisted The Macallan in realising their vision for a new 21st century distillery and visitor experience within one of the most beautiful landscapes in Scotland. It signals the future as well as respecting the past to create a unique addition to the brand home. This serves to communicate the traditions, beauty and importance of Scottish whisky-making to the world. The resulting building represents a new aspect to our vocabulary; a form of contextual modernity, and we have been intellectually enriched by the whole experience.”

The new building provides a facility capable of increased production and also allows for easy expansion in years to come. Internally, a series of production cells are arranged in a linear format with an open-plan layout revealing all stages of the process. These cells are reflected above the building in the form of a gently undulating roof, formed by a timber gridshell. Grass-covered peaks rise and fall from The Macallan estate grounds, signalling 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 project architect, RSHP associate partner, Toby Jeavons said: “Having the Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience shortlisted for such a prestigious architectural award is a wonderful acknowledgment for the building and recognition of all the hard work undertaken by the entire project team.”

You can find more information about the Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience here including project descriptions, sketches and plans.

Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience is the 10th building by the practice to be included on the shortlist in the 22 years of its existence:


This article was provided by RSHP. It was previously published on the RSHP website in August 2019 and can be accessed here.

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--RSHP