Macallan Distillery


The £140 million Macallan Distillery and visitor centre in Speyside, Scotland, features a glazed façade by Saint-Gobain Glass, which reveals the production processes to visitors while remaining sensitive to the beautiful surrounding countryside. The new distillery will enable production of Macallan to increase by a third if required. It is expected to deliver significant benefits for the tourism industry, Scotch whisky exports, and the economy.

The project has won a national RIBA award and was one of just six UK buildings shortlisted for a RIBA Sterling Prize 2019.

The undulating timber roof structure is one of the most complicated timber roof structures in the world, comprising 1800 single beams, 2500 different roof elements, and 380,000 individual components, almost none of which are equal or the same.

Additionally, the Glulam roof structure was expected to provide up to a possible 60mm downward deflection and 38mm outward deflection, so the main façade screen had to accept this level of movement. Solar control was also a high priority for the glazing specification: it was important that the building’s temperature should remain as consistent as possible to ensure comfort, energy efficiency, and reliable conditions for distillation.

To insulate the glass units and limit heat exchange, the glass was retained in a thermally broken channel at its base. This channel enabled the glazing to function efficiently as well as aesthetically, allowing the installation of glass units which span continuously from the floor slab to first floor level whilst providing a contained thermally broken solution throughout. The façade glass is also retained in a channel at its head; however, to allow it to accommodate the anticipated deflection of the roof, the channel was not fixed directly to the Glulam structure.

Arguably the distillery’s most striking glazed feature is the Cave Privee, a stunning three metre high curved glass viewing deck and function room located in the visitor area. This was created using 41mm toughened double glazed glass units, both straight and curved.


Project stakeholders

  • Client: The Edrington Group
  • Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
  • M&E Engineer: Blyth & Blyth
  • Main contractor: Robertson Construction
  • Facade fabricator: Glassolutions
  • Glass processor: Glassolutions


Macallan Distillery
AB38 9RX