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Raising a Glass to Scotland’s Whisky Distilleries

Take a tour of Scotland’s distilleries this World Whisky Day

From the Scottish capital of Edinburgh to the remote Outer Hebrides, Gray & Dick are proud to have played their part in shaping the landscape of the whisky industry in Scotland. Partial to a dram of two of the liquid gold that warms the soul, Gray & Dick are celebrating the changing face of whisky architecture this World Whisky Day. Blending the rich heritage of each distillery with contemporary design features, Scotch whisky experiences across the country are being reimagined and rebuilt for the future.

Isle of Islay
Home to nine distilleries, with a few more in the making, it is no wonder Islay has come to be known as the ‘whisky island’.

In a pivotal moment for Scotland’s whisky industry, Port Ellen reopened its doors after more than 40 years of closure back in March. The final step in Diageo’s £185 million investment in Scotch whisky tourism has brought about a new era at Port Ellen Distillery.


               Port Ellen Distillery      Port Ellen Distillery


Designed to push the boundaries of innovation, experimentation, and sustainability, Gray & Dick played a key role in the redesign of this “ghost” distillery. At the core of the reimagined distillery lies a glass-fronted still house, home to two pairs of striking copper stills. Utilising 17.5mm toughened laminated glass, the new still house blends seamlessly with the rest of the distillery and local landscape, just like the finest blend of Scotch whisky.

The first of its kind on the Isle of Islay, Gray & Dick was proud to create a bespoke supporting frame system incorporating a Sky-Frame window in the reimagined Bay Room. As an exclusive supplier partner in Scotland, the Sky-Frame designer provides breathtaking views over Kilnaughton Bay for visitors to enjoy.

Outer Hebrides
Reflecting the nautical heritage of the islands, Gray &  Dick were thrilled to be involved in the topping out of the MacMillan Distillery in Benbecula. Repurposing a former crab processing building, an extension to the building saw the creation of a replica lighthouse with an illuminated still providing a beacon for people crossing the causeway.

Gray & Dick built and assembled the frame in Clydebank to ensure it was correct before dismantling and transporting it to Benbecula for reassembly. The individual glass panels were designed to sit at a 26-degree angle, reflecting the natural light to create a spectacular feature day and night.

                    

Edinburgh
Looking over the iconic Princes Street in the Scottish capital sits the Johnnie Walker Visitor Experience. Gray & Dick provided our award-winning engineering expertise to the design of the 1820 Rooftop Bar.

While Johnnie Walker expertly crafted cocktails and whisky experience, the team at Gray & Dick were busy crafting an exceptional design to blend the interior and exterior spaces. A Sky-Frame door enhanced Edinburgh's skyline, with Rimex metal cladding covering the roofline, external walls and pillars, cohesively bringing together contemporary design with the history of the city.

West Lothian
Just outside of Edinburgh, fourth-generation independent distiller Ian Macleod Distillers were looking to create a new corporate headquarters in Broxburn. Not only were their new headquarters set to meet the businesses' growing needs, but they were envisaged to serve as a local landmark in the industrial and commercial heartland of West Lothian. 
         

                    

Looking for a unique and timeless design, the answer lay in heritage and glass. With two of Gray & Dicks’s specialisms at the core of the project, the team created and installed the building’s most defining feature, two prominent glass lanterns that proudly sit atop the headquarters to leave a striking mark on the landscape.

East Lothian
In Tranent, Gray & Dick were involved in the redevelopment of Glenkinchie Distillery. As part of the distillery’s regeneration, the buildings incorporated a multi-level cultural and sensory visitor experience with a new welcome lounge, upgraded retail unit, bar and cocktail-making classroom, tasting rooms and cask draw experience. Gray & Dick operated as a specialist design contractor to create a bespoke feature window and entranceway utilising Rimex architectural cladding. The final feature window and entrance design provided framed views of East Lothian, with light flooding the space to enhance the character of the building.

Fife
At the ‘spiritual home of Scottish whisky’, the renovation of Lindores Abbey Distillery was decades in the making. Gray & Dick joined the project to create an impressive glass curtain wall to integrate modern design features without compromising the traditional aesthetic. The floor-ceiling glass highlights the production area, with the large copper pot stills taking centre stage overlooking the abbey ruins.

Working with the unique geometric style of the building, Gray & Dick installed the glass panes with surgical precision. Creating bright and airy spaces, natural light cascades into the distillery from all directions, providing Lindores Abbey with life for many years to come.


               World Whisky Day Blog 2024     Gray & Dick Lindores Abbey

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