Holyrood Distillery
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As our project for Edinburgh’s first new Single Malt Distillery in 90 years starts on site, Vivi Dailly explores the history of the site and whisky production in the city.

After a long period of maturation we are very pleased that our project for Holyrood Distillery is now on site. The project involves converting and extending a Victorian railway building in the centre of Edinburgh, into a new Visitor Experience and Single Malt Distillery.

Scotland’s capital has not been home to a Single Malt Distillery for over 90 years. While whisky tourism brings in close to £40 million a year to Scotland’s economy, much of this bypasses Edinburgh. Our project for Holyrood Distillery aims to bring this tradition back to the nation’s capital and offer people the chance to learn about and experience the distilling process.

In adapting the building for the next chapter of its life, we have particularly enjoyed looking back at two linked strands of history: the provenance of the building (and the key role it played in the industrialisation of the city), and the history of whisky distilling in Edinburgh.

Located on the fringes of Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park, the Category B Listed building, previously known as St Leonard’s Station, was the terminus of Edinburgh’s first railway- The Innocent Railway. This railway was opened in 1831 to transport much needed affordable coal into the capital from mines in Dalkeith. It is suggested that the Innocent Railway gained its name from the use of horses that were initially used to draw coal trucks into the city, rather than the modern, more dangerous new steam engines. The railway became a main artery for fuel for the modernising city and its dramatic industrialisation- one of these industries being distilling.

A significant number of breweries and distilleries developed in the local area in what became known as the ‘charmed circle’, where the hard waters underlying Holyrood, the Cowgate, the Grassmarket and Fountainbridge were found to be ideal for both brewing and distilling.

Glen Sciennes Distillery, one of Edinburgh’s most celebrated lost distilleries, was established in close proximity to our site in 1849, with its associated granaries and maltings buildings being located in St Leonards. This distillery was the last single malt distillery to operate in Edinburgh and was closed in 1925.

We have been very conscious of these braided strands of history when developing our proposals. Our approach has been to retain the historic external fabric of the listed structure whilst making considered alterations to the internal layout to adapt to the requirements of the distilling process and visitor experience. Where possible, the existing stone and cast iron columns, which give the building its robust industrial character, will remain exposed.

To announce the building’s new use, we have designed a new gatehouse extension which is clearly expressed as a fine modern metal and timber clad contemporary element which complements the rawer materiality of the existing stone, whilst taking reference from the additive dark timber structures which were appended to the main building in the 19th and early 20th century. This new extension will mark the entrance to the new Distillery and offer visitors a dramatic view to Salisbury Crags and the edge of Holyrood Park.

With its unique location and heritage, the Holyrood Distillery will provide public access to a piece of the city’s industrial heritage whilst creating a high quality visitor destination- what better place to experience a single malt?

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Observations

Images from our Instagram account which capture idea, places and things that inspire us.
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.
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.
A masterplan prepared by a 7N Architects-led team for the site of the former high school in Lerwick, Shetland, has been unanimously approved by Shetland Islands Council’s Development Committee for public consultation prior to adoption as Supplementary Planning Guidance. The project is an initiative by Shetland Islands Council to utilise a key town centre site in Lerwick to deliver forms of affordable housing and related mixed uses which are not currently being delivered by the public or private sectors. The unique combination of high house prices and construction costs in Shetland mean there is a large affordability gap between social rented and private housing which has become a critical factor in retaining and attracting young people to the Islands who are essential to sustain the future economy • Find put more on our journal page - link in bio.
A masterplan prepared by a 7N Architects-led team for the site of the former high school in Lerwick, Shetland, has been unanimously approved by Shetland Islands Council’s Development Committee for public consultation prior to adoption as Supplementary Planning Guidance. The project is an initiative by Shetland Islands Council to utilise a key town centre site in Lerwick to deliver forms of affordable housing and related mixed uses which are not currently being delivered by the public or private sectors. The unique combination of high house prices and construction costs in Shetland mean there is a large affordability gap between social rented and private housing which has become a critical factor in retaining and attracting young people to the Islands who are essential to sustain the future economy • Find put more on our journal page - link in bio.
A masterplan prepared by a 7N Architects-led team for the site of the former high school in Lerwick, Shetland, has been unanimously approved by Shetland Islands Council’s Development Committee for public consultation prior to adoption as Supplementary Planning Guidance. The project is an initiative by Shetland Islands Council to utilise a key town centre site in Lerwick to deliver forms of affordable housing and related mixed uses which are not currently being delivered by the public or private sectors. The unique combination of high house prices and construction costs in Shetland mean there is a large affordability gap between social rented and private housing which has become a critical factor in retaining and attracting young people to the Islands who are essential to sustain the future economy • Find put more on our journal page - link in bio.
Fountainbridge Masterplan - Affordable Housing • We have recently submitted revised proposals to City of Edinburgh Council planning for one of the residential plots within the Fountainbridge masterplan - more information on our journal page, link in bio.
Fountainbridge Masterplan • We have recently submitted revised proposals to City of Edinburgh Council planning for one of the residential plots within the Fountainbridge masterplan - more information on our journal page, link in bio.
Fountainbridge Masterplan - Affordable Housing We have recently submitted revised proposals to City of Edinburgh Council planning for one of the residential plots within the Fountainbridge masterplan - more information on our journal page, link in bio.
Western Harbour - Park Terrace
Western Harbour - Park
Western Harbour - Park
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