Competition / 2017
The fertile soil of the Balvenie Mains rests heavy and dark in anticipation of the sowing season. The strong geometric volumes of the distillery buildings, weathered with time, sit quietly in the background. As the barley crop matures, the unpredictable Scottish weather creates a visual concert of sun, light, shadow and rain over the landscape. The barley sways in the wind, waiting to be harvested, the coarse grains eventually passed through the hands of skilled craftsmen to be transformed into a precious amber-coloured liquid. The heavy oak casks rest in the atmospheric stillness, maturing to the malt-master’s expert instructions, eventually coming to life through the senses – awakening the colour, smell, taste and texture of the final product...
Our bar design is an abstract interpretation of the landscape of the Balvenie Mains, and the unique craft of The Balvenie whisky-making process.
Tested and developed through a series of scale model iterations, our proposal focuses on the craft of how the components and connections relate to each other, as well as the ease of assembly of the bar. The design is richly layered – a timeline imbued with whisky-making symbology. At the base, a heavy oak volume marks the horizontality and weight of the landscape. Growing through this datum, a field of copper stalks of various diameters emerges. The pattern of the stalks casts shadows with the ebb and flow of people gathering around the bar, animating the whisky bottle display. Above, a liquid-like sheet of glass floats effortlessly, colouring the surroundings with hues of amber light. A single cylinder, resembling a component of the copper stills, acts as a sink to complete the composition. With time, the oak and copper acquire character and patina, improving with age, while celebrating the history and forward-looking innovation of the craftspeople behind The Balvenie.