Submitted by WA Contents

OLI Architecture's state-of-the-art distillery and visitors' center breaks ground in China

China Architecture News - Mar 08, 2022 - 15:12   1905 views

OLI Architecture's state-of-the-art distillery and visitors' center breaks ground in China

New York-based architecture firm OLI Architecture has broken ground on its new 15,000-square-metre landmark distillery and visitors' center in China’s Yunnan Province for Leading Global Spirits Producer, Diageo.

Set to be completed in 2024, the new complex is derived from the studio’s characteristic attention to form, light, and site resonance to a new distillery and visitors’ center.

The new distillery and visitors' center are nestled in the valley of China’s snowcapped Cangshan mountains. 

Inspired by the concept of "Of Nature, to Nature," the whisky distillation process, coupled with OLI Architecture’s signature response to surrounding landscape, will highlight the circular relationship of the architecture to its context. 

The complex is composed of a collection of buildings and incorporates outdoor spaces that are made of local stone and are harmoniously embedded into the terrain to follow the natural elevations of the site. 

The complex then dramatically opens on the southern exposed face to reveal the landscape, mountains, and vast sky. 

OLI Architecture's state-of-the-art distillery and visitors' center breaks ground in China

The distillery, and its extensive water features stepping towards the east, are supplied by the locally sourced pristine spring water, purified, and reused after the crafting of the high-quality single malt whiskey. 

Completing the cycle, the lushly landscaped east end, with natural retention pools of post-production purified water, supports native endangered species promoting the biodiversity of Yunnan.

"It is an honor to partner with Diageo to bring this first-of-its-kind distillery and visitors’ center to one of the most bio-diverse regions not only in China but the world," said Founding Partner Hiroshi Okamoto. 

"Together, we have created a new destination that not only celebrates the artistry of whiskey production and pays homage to the local Dali context and deep Scottish whiskey traditions, but the natural elements that make it possible and create an environment to best enjoy it," Okamoto added.

While the phase one of the project incorporates a 2,500 square meters, Visitors’ Center will be a technologically-advanced design encompassing a total of 12,500 square meters distillery. 

OLI Architecture's state-of-the-art distillery and visitors' center breaks ground in China

The visitors’ center, arrival, and reception areas welcome guests in advance of their tour through the production facility, designed to be an immersive, multi-sensory experience. The tour culminates with a whiskey tasting in the Barrel Tower, an iconic beacon in the landscape, influenced by the local Dali architecture. 

Visitors can also enjoy additional hospitality spaces including a high-end tasting lounge of locally sourced ingredients, retail store, café, and a multi-function and VIP space for events and distinguished guests. 

The distillery is divided into different zones for the complete whiskey production process such as grist, milling, mashing, fermentation, distilling, coopering, filling, cask storage, and maturation – with offices for the engineering team and support staff. 

The site and program will be further developed in future phases, said the studio.

Project facts

Project team

Hiroshi Okamoto, AIA LEED. A.P. Founding Partner
Bing Lin, Founding Partner
Christos Athanasopolous, Intl. Assoc. AIA. Project Manager
Valentina Angelucci, Designer
Haoyu Wang, Designer
Sanghoon Seo, Designer
Zhen Hua, Designer
Kojo Quainoo, Designer
Aleksandr Dmitrashchuk, Designer
Benjamin Woolworth, Designer

Client: Diageo China, Ltd.
Local Design Institute: Haisum Engineering Co. Ltd.
Brand Strategy Consultant: Hillcrest Consulting LLP
Project Management: PM Group 

All images courtesy of OLI Architecture.

> via OLI Architecture