Client: Golden Decanters

Project: Midhope Distillery, West Lothian

Date: Start on Site 2022


A new Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery at Midhope Castle which lies within the Hopetoun Estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

The overall project aims to create an environment to produce, share and market an exceptional whisky. Its success depends not just on the production of whisky but on the ability to invite guests to see the creative process, appreciate its origins and have the time to experience the whisky and the environment. It is intended in the future that the castle will be the venue for a significant part of these activities.

Responding to the unique setting has driven the initial key moves in developing the proposals. The remaining traces of the historic landscape structures have informed the location of the new distillery building and the strategy for the forming a new setting for both the castle and the distillery. The layout of the old castle gardens has influenced the landscape proposals whilst the new building aligns with the traces of the pathway and wall that once led away from the castle out to the landscape to the west.

The basic form of the new building has been influenced by common simple, robust utilitarian agricultural buildings. From a distance the distillery will appear as a grouping of simple, quiet forms in the landscape. The still house will be wrapped in timber giving it an abstract quality. This building will contain the stills and their copper forms will be visible through the glazed gable facing the castle courtyard.

The still house sits in a cooling pond and forms a gathering place at the visitor entrance to the distillery. This entrance aligns with both the reinstated road and wall running east to west but also with the existing track that leaves the site to the north.

A large, framed window on the first floor of the distillery offers panoramic views back to the castle,

On dark evenings this end of the building will glow and act as a lantern, drawing visitors across the landscape from the castle.

Photography: 56three