SSDA 2019: The Macallan Distillery

31 October 2019

The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience was designed to be a unique structure that would reveal the production processes of the single malt Scotch whisky distillery as well as welcome visitors, while remaining sensitive to the rural setting in Speyside.

Merit: The Macallan Distillery
Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Structural engineer: Arup
Steelwork contractor: S H Structures
Main contractor: Robertson Construction
Client: The Macallan

Structural steelwork is an integral part of the building, as ring beams and columns support the timber green roof, while curved steel process tables hold up the copper stills that are used in the whisky distilling process.

The roof design is based around a repetitive use of a dome form. The primary geometry is formed
from a timber grillage of downstand beams at 3m centres.

This undulating grillage is supported by steel portal frames. Each timber dome, spanning a clear distance of 27m, lands on to a steel ring beam, which in turn is supported on inclined V-columns that spring from concrete buttresses.

The initial design for the roof would have seen the erection team bolting the relevant sections together on site. However, at the suggestion of S H Structures, this was changed to site welding the nodes, as this was the best way of meeting the tight tolerance requirements.

Produced by the BCSA and Steel for Life in association with Construction Manager

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