Mies van der Rohe Award nomination

02 February 2021

The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Centre nominated for a Mies van der Rohe Award.


The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience joins a list of 18 UK projects nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.

It is the only new-build industrial distillery on the list of 449 projects from across Europe nominated by a group of independent experts from all over Europe and European architects’ associations.

The award is granted every two years to acknowledge and reward quality architectural production in Europe. This year the focus is on projects in which design and sustainability are fundamentally entwined.

The Macallan is an exemplar of integrated design, which has demanded highly skilled construction, successfully bringing together under the same undulating roof, an industrial distillery with a busy visitor experience centre.

Cut into the slope of the landscape, the distillery takes its cues from ancient Scottish earthworks and plays a direct part in sustaining the local beauty of Speyside. It uses natural and sustainable materials in the 13,000m2 timber roof, wildflower meadow and utilises fuel ash within the concrete substructure to mitigate the use of cement.

As an advanced manufacturing facility, it maximises the use of steam generated from an adjacent forestry commissioned biomass plant as the principle energy source for processing. This contributes 90% of the production’s heating demands from a sustainable source.

Heat from the distilling process is recycled and actively captured for the hot water and heating demands of the visitor centre and control block. All cooling-water extracted from the River Spey for condensing the spirit is returned at the river’s natural temperature and waste product from the mashing process is used to fuel biomass so generating electricity.