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BIG designs "meandering" whiskey distillery and new HQ for Blue Run Spirits in Georgetown, Kentucky

United States Architecture News - Mar 24, 2023 - 15:05   4416 views

BIG designs

Bjarke Ingels' firm BIG has released first renderings for a new whiskey distillery and headquarters for Blue Run Spirits, a Kentucky-based company and creator of award-winning bourbons and rye whiskies.

BIG's design scheme will consist of a 35,000-square-foot (3,252-square-metre) distillery and a 20,000-square-foot (1,858-square-metre) rickhouse as a new facility compound in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Set to begin construction in 2023 at the Lanes Run Business Park, the project is expected to open in 2025.

With new distillery operations, the company expects to bring at least 45 fulltime jobs to the local economy, according to a press statement by the company. 

"It evokes the journey of the limestone-rich water of the Royal Spring"

Called Meander, BIG is inspired "the journey of the limestone-rich water of the Royal Spring in Georgetown". The project is derived from a process spanning the distilling, aging and blending process to create fine Blue Run bourbons and rye whiskeys. 

"The Royal Spring, dubbed the Blue Run by one of the founders, serves as the company’s namesake," stated in a press release.

"For Blue Run, we have boiled the entire process of whiskey-making down to a single linear sequence - from distilling to maturing to bottling," said Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Creative Director, BIG

"The half-mile long process meanders through the gentle hillsides creating bends and banks, inlets, and outlooks." 

"A single shingled roof of photovoltaic tiles twists and turns to maintain optimal orientation even as the activities underneath require grandeur or intimacy," he added. 

"In the same way the Royal Spring is shaped by how the water flows through it, Blue Run Distillery is shaped by the flow of the whiskey and the processes and people who make it," Ingels added.

BIG designs

The building, which was designed in a meandering volume, is covered with a bold roof form that descends and rises in some points.

The roof, which has become a dominant design element, consists of photovoltaic shingled tiles and becomes a guiding element for human's orientation inside.

"We are thrilled to be able to reveal an early look of Bjarke Ingels Group’s design for the new Blue Run Spirits distillery in Georgetown, giving everyone a glimpse at where we are heading in developing a welcoming, unexpected and modern facility with a true focus on sustainability," said Blue Run Spirits CEO and cofounder Mike Montgomery. 

"This will be a game-changing addition to Blue Run’s long-range business plans, allowing us to meet forecasted and unforeseen demand, while also giving our Whiskey Director Shaylyn Gammon and Liquid Advisor Jim Rutledge a home base of operations," Montgomery added.

"A meandering path to making whiskey"

The building, which takes the whiskey making process at the center of the design, also strengthens the relationship between the building and the landscape that surrounds it. 

"Design is at the center of everything we do at Blue Run – from our liquid to our bottle to our new distillery,” continued Montgomery. 

"The design BIG has developed is in dialogue with the landscape, the meandering path to making whiskey and a manifestation of the bold, distinct and inviting ethos that signifies Blue Run Spirits," Montgomery added.

BIG has released only a pair of renderings for the project, which is in the early stages of design. Detailed images are expected to be released later.

BIG and ICON are also working on a new 3D-printed compound hotel in Marfa, Texas. BIG won a competition to design Qianhai Prisma Towers in Shenzhen. 

Renderings by BIG, courtesy of Blue Run Spirits.

> via Blue Run Spirits & BIG 

BIG concept distillery facility HQ