William Green Architects Distillery extrance 2


Our clients are keen to diversify their business interests away from farming. Their plan is to install a schnapps distillery with a visitor centre and events venue inside a disused concrete portal barn complex on their land. We are creating a masterplan for the site and detailed designs for the conversion and reuse of the barns.

Masterplanning connects all the elements on a site, including buildings and other structures, with their setting and landscape and the wider physical environment.

Our client’s new business venture would significantly increase the number of people on site, including members of the public, and the number of vehicles.

We are planning separate access points for the public, for event hosts and their guests, for farm traffic, staff and deliveries, and for our client’s home which is on site. Clear wayfinding will direct people and vehicles through the site. The number of vehicles on site will increase significantly and sufficient parking is a priority.

We need to make the site safe and efficient, but also attractive with a sense of arrival at the distillery.

Our initial designs show how a newly extended porch with oversized signage creates a point of interest and pulls people in. Fully glazed gables create drama. You can look in to see what’s going on. You can look out and see open countryside.

We need to optimise the change of use. Concrete portal barns were built from the 1950s to 1970s and create large open spaces, without pillars. This can be perfect for modern commercial use.

But transforming them into attractive, sustainable buildings with a pleasant internal environment and efficient energy use and acoustics, is more of a challenge.

The external design has a rustic modern style with a simple colour palette and exposed, natural architectural elements such as vertical timber cladding with bespoke detailing.

Space planning will be critical, including the placement of different activities − the distillery plant, venue spaces for events and weddings, public areas, ancillary areas such as loos and the circulation spaces between them.

Our plans include an atrium space for large parties that will act as a focal point. A mezzanine creates smaller spaces for meetings and a split-level gallery allows visitors to walk around and above the working distillery.

This coherent masterplan will really help our clients to see opportunities and navigate complex challenges. Follow this link for more details on our masterplanning services.

  • Location:  Buckinghamshire
  • Construction Cost:  £TBC

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