The Macallan distillery: sustainable construction in Scotland’s Highlands
23 August 2018 Construction
The hills of the Scottish Speyside are home to the newly opened Macallan distillery, welcoming visitors to see the production processes of the world-famous whisky.
The building is cut into the slope of the land and, with its undulating roof structure and the grass surface, integrates perfectly into the landscape.
The unique roof, made of PEFC-certified timber, makes the building a prime example for sustainable construction, and is at the same time probably the most striking aspect of the building.
Manufactured by the PEFC-certified timber engineering company Wiehag, high-precision, computer-controlled technology was used to produce the timber elements.
Comprising 380,000 individual components and 1,750 PEFC-certified glulam timber beams, it is one of the most complicated timber roof structures in the world.
Each junction and beam has a specific name and has been tested in over 160 different load conditions.
A once-in-a-lifetime project
PEFC-certified main contractor Robertson delivered the complex architectural design of the distillery, working with 25 sub-contractors to bring the construction to life.
Up to 400 people specialising in more than 20 different trades were employed onsite to construct this outstanding piece of contemporary architecture.
“The Macallan Estate truly is a special place, a place we have come to love and respect hugely. The vision was always ambitious, but this enabled us to challenge our own thinking to create something so dramatic and awe-inspiring,” said Graham Stirk from Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, lead architect of the project.
The distillery opened its doors to visitors in June 2018, six years after the announcement of the project.