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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Jordanhill - Cladding
Jordanhill - Brickwork
Jordanhill - New Build Living Room - The phase 1 apartments are taking shape with internal fit out well underway. Scheduled for completion towards the end of the year, here is an in progress view showing one of the open plan living spaces, each of which has sliding doors out onto an inset 6m.sq balcony.
Demolition works progressing at Jordanhill.
David Stow, Jordanhill - Stonework conservation and repair works with replacement of all existing windows, now progressing to the buildings east facade.
David Stow Building - Stonework
What if...? Is a collection of ideas and propositions aimed at questioning, stimulating and inspiring positive change within the city we live and work in. They are ideas to stimulate discussion, debate and expansive thinking on how Edinburgh can be a better place for all its citizens. See our highlights or visit our website to view the full publication and watch the short film.
What if...? Is a collection of ideas and propositions aimed at questioning, stimulating and inspiring positive change within the city we live and work in. They are ideas to stimulate discussion, debate and expansive thinking on how Edinburgh can be a better place for all its citizens. See our highlights or visit our website to view the full publication and watch the short film.
What if...? Is a collection of ideas and propositions aimed at questioning, stimulating and inspiring positive change within the city we live and work in. They are ideas to stimulate discussion, debate and expansive thinking on how Edinburgh can be a better place for all its citizens. See our highlights or visit our website to view the full publication and watch the short film.
This is the opening week for the Holyrood Distillery, Edinburgh’s first new single-malt whisky distillery in almost 100 years. 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. Located at the foot of the Salisbury Crags, the new distillery involves the adaptive reuse and extension of the Grade B listed former railway terminus. Unlike in traditional distilleries - where the visitor experience has often been retrospectively grafted onto the existing distilling installation – the Holyrood Distillery weaves the visitor experience into the distilling process from the beginning. 7N’s approach combines heritage and modernity by revealing the historic character of the original building and enhancing it with a new extension as both the arrival point for visitors and the climax of the visitor experience. The tasting area is orientated towards Salisbury Crags 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. 7N would like to thank everyone involved in bringing the project to fruition and wish the Holyrood Distillery team all the very best with their new venture.
This is the opening week for the Holyrood Distillery, Edinburgh’s first new single-malt whisky distillery in almost 100 years. 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. Located at the foot of the Salisbury Crags, the new distillery involves the adaptive reuse and extension of the Grade B listed former railway terminus. Unlike in traditional distilleries - where the visitor experience has often been retrospectively grafted onto the existing distilling installation – the Holyrood Distillery weaves the visitor experience into the distilling process from the beginning. 7N’s approach combines heritage and modernity by revealing the historic character of the original building and enhancing it with a new extension as both the arrival point for visitors and the climax of the visitor experience. The tasting area is orientated towards Salisbury Crags 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. 7N would like to thank everyone involved in bringing the project to fruition and wish the Holyrood Distillery team all the very best with their new venture.
This week is opening week for the Holyrood Distillery, Edinburgh’s first new single-malt whisky distillery in almost 100 years. 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. Located at the foot of the Salisbury Crags, the new distillery involves the adaptive reuse and extension of the Grade B listed former railway terminus. Unlike in traditional distilleries - where the visitor experience has often been retrospectively grafted onto the existing distilling installation – the Holyrood Distillery weaves the visitor experience into the distilling process from the beginning. 7N’s approach combines heritage and modernity by revealing the historic character of the original building and enhancing it with a new extension as both the arrival point for visitors and the climax of the visitor experience. The tasting area is orientated towards Salisbury Crags 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. 7N would like to thank everyone involved in bringing the project to fruition and wish the Holyrood Distillery team all the very best with their new venture.
Fort William Concept Design ; One Bed Apartments
Fort William Concept Design ; Four Bed Detached
Fort William Concept Design ; Two Bed Detached
We have recently completed concept designs for employee housing to serve the new Alloy Wheel Facility in Fort William. The need for new housing is due to the lack of availability in the local market which won't meet the needs of the number of new employees expected to relocate to the area. The proposed architecture is a contemporary interpretation of traditional highland housing with a variety of pitched roof forms. Different typologies raging from 1 to 5 beds have been designed around a single 4.3m module to facilitate efficiency in modular construction and potential for extension and configuration of internal layouts to suit different individual styles of living.
We have recently completed concept designs for employee housing to serve the new Alloy Wheel Facility in Fort William. The need for new housing is due to the lack of availability in the local market which won't meet the needs of the number of new employees expected to relocate to the area. The proposed architecture is a contemporary interpretation of traditional highland housing with a variety of pitched roof forms. Different typologies raging from 1 to 5 beds have been designed around a single 4.3m module to facilitate efficiency in modular construction and potential for extension and configuration of internal layouts to suit different individual styles of living.
We have recently completed concept designs for employee housing to serve the new Alloy Wheel Facility in Fort William. The need for new housing is due to the lack of availability in the local market which won't meet the needs of the number of new employees expected to relocate to the area. The proposed architecture is a contemporary interpretation of traditional highland housing with a variety of pitched roof forms. Different typologies raging from 1 to 5 beds have been designed around a single 4.3m module to facilitate efficiency in modular construction and potential for extension and configuration of internal layouts to suit different individual styles of living.
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