Good Spirits: A Guide to Distillery Design

FIRM Multiple

Gone are the days when distilleries were housed inside dark and dusty old warehouses that were off limits to the general public. Today spirits companies around the world are teaming up with architects to design homes for their distilleries that are both design forward and inviting enough to make you want to grab a seat at one of their tasting rooms and stay awhile. Here are five recently opened distilleries that caught our eye.

1. Firms: Lee BoydFour-by-Two
 Beefeater, London
 Rather than build a plain precast concrete tower to house the historic gin distillery’s new visitor’s center in the city’s Kensington District, architects overcladded the façade with copper-colored fins that change appearance depending on light, shadows, and perspective.

2. Firms: Heatherwick StudioGWP Architecture

Project: Bombay Sapphire

Location: Hampshire, England

Standout: Inspired by the distillation process, architects built two intertwining botanical glasshouses comprised of 893 individually shaped curved glass pieces. Inside each glass structure a team of horticulturists help cultivate the 10 herbs and spices used to make the gin based on a 254-year-old recipe. 

3. Firm:
Urbanadd Architecture + Design
Project: Westland Distillery, Seattle
Standout: In a nod to the Pacific Northwest’s rich logging history, architects created an 11,000-square-foot distillery using materials like salvaged lumber from a fallen fir tree found on the distiller’s family property to create the reception desk and tasting bar.

4. Firm:
Payne Architecture

Project: Copper & Kings

Location: Louisville, Kentucky
The owners recruited more than 40 local and regional vendors to help bring this American brandy distillery to life. The finished property includes a trio of shipping containers that now house a gift shop and tasting room.  

5. Firm: Piotr Kolacz Studio
Two James

Location: Detroit, Michigan
Housed inside a former brick and truss warehouse, the inside of the first licensed distillery in Detroit since Prohibition was decorated using local materials, including salvaged wood planks crafted into the tasting room’s circular, cast-concrete bar.