The Archie Rose Distillery is the first distillery in Sydney since 1853. It is a project of adaptive reuse, taking an unremarkable steel shed and creating a compelling new establishment where artisanal making occupies center stage. By deftly interweaving the education and enjoyment of its guests with the industrial processes of distillation and aging, the Distillery project embodies a total sensory journey.
Keen to encourage an informed drinking public, a ‘grain to glass’ concept was developed for the Distillery, engaging patrons with both the making process and the product consumed at the bar - 1 Grain > 2 Process > 3 Distilling > 4 Aging > 5 Bottling > 6 Tasting
The Distillery façade comprises of a series of sliding doors that animates the supersized branding applied to the corrugated wall cladding, a nod to traditional Scottish distilleries. This active façade is peeled back to reveal the manufacturing process and bar space. A public thoroughfare linking two sites forms a captivating interstitial space where pedestrians can view the internal workings of the industrial shed. Veiled by framed expanded metal mesh, the distilling zone is punctuated by gleaming copper and stainless steel equipment and the bar by precision-stacked oak aging barrels. A mezzanine overlooking the bar/distillery creates a viewing platform extending the tasting and education activities.
Through spatial and programmatic layering, the project showcases the making processes inherent to the Distillery and clearly positions it within contemporary craft distilling culture.
Sustainable outcomes are achieved through material and spatial strategies. Existing structural elements and materials were reused and adapted, complementing robust new materials that will accrue attractive patinas. Programmatic flexibility and longevity is dexterously achieved through succinct planning.
The project embraces an aesthetic based on fundamentals. By adopting a material language referencing the beauty of the distillation process/equipment, the design imbues tactility, warmth and accessibility, enhancing its formal and conceptual simplicity. All elements of the project are custom made, from the over scaled charred oak bar joinery, booth seating, hand-formed copper bar and bespoke lighting. The attention to detail provides a tactile, crafted experience interconnected with and reflective of the process of distillation and consumption.
Focusing on transparency, the Distillery project marries the artifacts of process with a refined spatial flow, thereby creating an innovative layering of spaces, functions and experiences. By unapologetically integrating the education of patrons with the unadorned distilling process, the interiors reinforce the authenticity of the product by allowing it to be consumed within the production space. This contributes to the concept of learning being part of a journey, and that in this project, it is the total sensory journey which engages the individual with the Archie Rose brand.