Macallan Distillery makes Stirling Prize 2019 shortlist



The £140 million Macallan Distillery and visitor centre in Moray is one of six buildings in the running to be named to the UK’s best new building.

Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and delivered by Robertson Group, the Speyside facility has been shortlisted for the coveted 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize alongside a rural opera house and an experimental house made of cork.

The Stirling Prize is judged against a range of criteria including design vision; innovation and originality; capacity to stimulate, engage and delight occupants and visitors; accessibility and sustainability; how fit the building is for its purpose and the level of client satisfaction.

In choosing the Macallan project, judges noted: “The rolling roofscape of this building echoes the form of the surrounding hills and serves to successfully conceal an exceptionally well resolved and ingenious fusion of architecture, whiskey technology and impactful interior settings displaying the heritage of the Macallan brand.

“A processional landscaped walkway symbolically and physically connects the 18th century laird’s house at the heart of the estate with the new visitor centre. The internal journey continues under a warmly lit majestic double curvature timber gridshell roof. The combination of atmospheric lighting with the architectural form and the intriguing arrangement of stills and exhibits creates a sense of drama throughout this hugely impressive building. Views through the extensive fully glazed section of the main elevation framed between the floor and the curving eaves provide a constant link between the new building and the enchanting scenery of the Spey river, the source of water that brought the distillery to the site.”

Image by Joas Souza

Completing the shortlist is:

  • Cork House by Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton
  • Goldsmith Street by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley
  • London Bridge Station by Grimshaw
  • Nevill Holt Opera by Witherford Watson Mann Architects
  • The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park by Feilden Fowles Architects

RIBA president Ben Derbyshire said the 2019 shortlist was testament to “the enviable global reputation of UK architecture”.

The nominated buildings, he said, “could hardly be more diverse” yet had “ground-breaking innovation, extraordinary creativity and the highest quality materials” in common.

Bloomberg’s European headquarters took home the prize last year.

The winner will be announced in a ceremony on October 8.



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