A multi award-winning design has transformed an abandoned whisky warehouse into a thriving visitor centre and community hub. Glenkinchie Distillery in East Lothian is one of the last remaining lowland distilleries, affectionately nicknamed ‘the garden distillery.’ Michael Laird Architects were set a challenging brief to convert a B-listed Victorian warehouse into a modern visitor centre for client Diageo. At the same time, the project was to achieve zero waste to landfill.
Touch of nature
The architects reinvented the entrance to the building, with a stunning landscaped garden and burn reinforcing the garden distillery concept and leading visitors to a new entrance to the west elevation. There, large glazed panels punctuated light through the stone walls into newly-created full height pockets of space.
The contemporary interventions were bold but sensitively done, with original materials such as an old stable reused and repurposed to add authenticity and charm. Russwood light European Oak sits perfectly within this modern but natural aesthetic. Created using wire brushes to pull out the soft spring wood, the brushed oak offers a textured but durable surface. Contractors GL Floors selected 15mm engineered boards with a 4mm oak top layer for added stability.
Glenkinchie was named winner of the Building Re-Use category in the Scottish Design Awards 2021 and commended at the Edinburgh Architectural Association Awards 2021.