Bringing Single Malt Back to the Capital
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The Holyrood Distillery, Edinburgh’s first single malt distillery for nearly 100 years, has opened its doors. Located at the foot of the Salisbury Crags, the new distillery involves the adaptive reuse and extension of the Grade B listed building in the heart of Edinburgh. The project has been designed by 7N Architects and delivered in collaboration with ISG Construction, Blyth and Blyth, David Adamson Group, ICENI projects, Cubit3D and Threebrand as well as a fantastic team of specialist contractors and craftspeople.

Scotland is famous for its whisky and yet, despite the plethora of shops and experiences advertising the quintessential tipple throughout Edinburgh, there has not been a single malt distillery operating in the capital since Glen Sciennes closed its doors in 1925. At one point in the late 1700s there were an estimated 400 illicit stills dotted throughout Edinburgh, and yet in recent decades many of the remaining historic distilleries have either shut down or moved out of the city.

In 2013, recognising the lack of distilleries offering visitor experiences in Edinburgh, Canadians Rob and Kelly Carpenter and Scot David Robertson (former Master Distiller for The Macallan) decided to revive the single malt tradition in the heart of the capital. This July, Holyrood Distillery opened to the public.

Located at the foot of the Salisbury Crags, the new distillery is a Grade B listed building nestled on St Leonard’s Lane, just a short walk from the Royal Mile. The Engine Shed, as it has come to be known, was built as the terminus and goods shed for Edinburgh’s first railway, which opened in 1831 and was primarily used for transporting coal. Since its decommission most of the railway’s infrastructure has been demolished (the old railway line is now a pedestrian and cycle path), but the Engine Shed survived.

It’s clear why this building was chosen: long and narrow, its stone walls and deep-set windows speak of its past. Arched doorways lead onto the old engine yard, where coal was once loaded into horse-drawn carts but which has now been transformed into a welcoming courtyard. Inside, the visitor experience takes full advantage of the building’s height, guiding visitors through a multi-storey exhibition including the still room itself, which allows visitors to see the distilling process in action. This is unusual; in traditional distilleries the visitor experience is often retrospectively grafted onto the existing distilling installation, a process which comes with its complications. Distilleries require a complex installation of pipework, tanks and vessels; parts of the process are extremely hot and noisy with gasses, odours and vapours to be controlled. Retroactively building-in a visitor experience therefore often results in a functional but not necessarily comprehensive experience, and it can be difficult to capture the true and full magic of the process. Designing a new distillery meant weaving the visitor experience into the architecture from the beginning, so that it followed the complex production process as it threaded its way through the structure of the building.

In order to achieve this, our strategy involved configuring the respective stages so that they each had their own space (where operational or experiential reasons required it), as well as spaces where they came together, such as the still room. This approach required an examination of every aspect of the distilling process and the visitor experience, both separately and in tandem, to come to an arrangement that would heighten the experience at every opportunity and paint a complete picture of the process.

Further to the logistical aspects of the experience, it was important to speak to the overarching conceptual expression of Holyrood whisky as a modern dram that remains in touch with tradition. The design approach therefore combines heritage and modernity by revealing the original historic character of the Engine Shed building and enhancing it with a new extension which is both the arrival point for visitors and the climax of the visitor experience with the tasting area orientated towards Salisbury Crags. It has been designed so that visitors can savour a dram at the end of their journey whilst looking out to the dramatic landscape which embeds the experience in Scotland’s Capital City.

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Observations

Images from our Instagram account which capture ideas, places and things that inspire us.
It’s good to see construction re-starting on our Jordanhill Park project for Cala Homes West. In addition to the first two apartment buildings already completed at Southbrae Drive, this phase of construction will provide a mix of 1,2 & 3 bedroom apartments, townhouse terraces and detached homes alongside the developments new Sales Suite, set to launch later this year. Each of these new homes have been developed with the client, Cala Homes West, as bespoke designs specifically created for their unique setting offering residents the chance to enjoy living in the mature parkland estate of Jordanhill. With landscape and public realm a core focus of the masterplan design, streets and spaces have been designed around people rather than vehicles, allowing both residents and members of the public alike to roam freely in their enjoyment of this new neighbourhood.
It’s good to see construction re-starting on our Jordanhill Park project for Cala Homes West. This drone shot was taken during lockdown but Phase 1 will now be completed shortly and Phase 2 is underway again. In addition to the first two apartment buildings already completed at Southbrae Drive, this phase of construction will provide a mix of 1,2 & 3 bedroom apartments, townhouse terraces and detached homes alongside the developments new Sales Suite, set to launch later this year. Each of these new homes have been developed with the client, Cala Homes West, as bespoke designs specifically created for their unique setting offering residents the chance to enjoy living in the mature parkland estate of Jordanhill. With landscape and public realm a core focus of the masterplan design, streets and spaces have been designed around people rather than vehicles, allowing both residents and members of the public alike to roam freely in their enjoyment of this new neighbourhood.
We’ve recently submitted a planning application for Rowanbank Gardens, a brownfield development of 126 new homes in Corstorphine. Working with our clients Artisan Real Estate, the project will redevelop a former care home to provide much needed one, two and three bedroom homes for the city, including 25% affordable. The site, which is well connected to public transport, will encourage car-free city living, with generous secure cycle parking and car club provision. The new homes are designed for flexible, family living, making it easier to live a sustainable lifestyle. The shared courtyard garden, designed in collaboration with Rankinfraser Landscape Architecture, will be the heart of this new dense, liveable place, with inclusive spaces for play, communal growing and relaxation to support a sense of community, and promote well-being.
We’ve recently submitted a planning application for Rowanbank Gardens, a brownfield development of 126 new homes in Corstorphine. Working with our clients Artisan Real Estate, the project will redevelop a former care home to provide much needed one, two and three bedroom homes for the city, including 25% affordable. The site, which is well connected to public transport, will encourage car-free city living, with generous secure cycle parking and car club provision. The new homes are designed for flexible, family living, making it easier to live a sustainable lifestyle. The shared courtyard garden, designed in collaboration with Rankinfraser Landscape Architecture, will be the heart of this new dense, liveable place, with inclusive spaces for play, communal growing and relaxation to support a sense of community, and promote well-being.
New Blog Post - Making Edinburgh a City Where Data Drives Sustainable Transport, Not Cars. What if we harnessed Edinburgh’s tech expertise to create Scotland’s first truly smart city, using the power of big data to help us all make more informed choices about the way we move around the city? Could we use this tool to incentivise and reward better choices, to re-programme a city that has been accustomed to reaching for the car keys to start reaching for the bike or trainers instead? To read the full article, visit our journal page.
Now more than ever we need a vision for the future for shared life in our towns and cities. We shared our thoughts on the City of Edinburgh’s choices for a City Plan 2030 #edinburgh #city #planning #future #architecture #ariel #photography #drone #scotland
School Sports Pavilion. A sports pavilion that is designed to lift every pupil’s confidence before stepping out onto the field. #architecture #design #scotland #school #pavilion #architect #building #detail #material #architecturephotography #7narchitects #landscape #architectmodel #model #modeldesign #schoolarchitecture
School Sports Pavilion. A sports pavilion that is designed to lift every pupil’s confidence before stepping out onto the field. #architecture #design #scotland #school #pavilion #architect #building #detail #material #architecturephotography #7narchitects #landscape #schoolarchitecture
School Sports Pavilion. A sports pavilion that is designed to lift every pupil’s confidence before stepping out onto the field. #architecture #design #scotland #school #pavilion #architect #building #detail #material #architecturephotography #7narchitects #landscape #schoolarchitecture
The Chief Planner for Scotland issued a letter on Friday acknowledging the need to explore alternative approaches to public consultation during the Covid-19 lockdown. We were pleased to present our latest design proposals for Queensberry Properties’ redevelopment of Finance House in one of the first ‘digital consultations’ in Scotland on the 19th of March. See our journal for more info, link in bio.
Our team has been working from home in recent weeks, which has made us appreciate the value of light and bright interior spaces. Working from home is better with a view. This is the view from one of the rooms in Buccleuch Street Accomodation.
7N's Vision for Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc - for more information, check out our journal page.
7N's Vision for Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc - for more information, check out our journal page.
Evening light through the trees at Jordanhill Park.
The first apartments are approaching completion as the team reach the one year milestone at Jordanhill.
Autumnal Tones at Jordanhill Park.
Fraser Avenue, Phase 1
Fraser Avenue, Phase 1
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