Heatherwick Studio was commissioned by Bombay Sapphire, a gin-marker, to create the company’s first in-house production facility open to the public. The building was formerly a water-powered paper mill, and the site contained more than forty neglected buildings of historical significance, which will all be restored as part of the master plan.
The central of the master plan development is the River Test that was previously covered, but now is the central organizing device that helps one make sense of this site and facilities. The river has been transformed into a widened, opened, planted in route that draws visitors into the newly defined courtyard at its center.
The design team thought it is necessary to provide the public with a close up, real experience of the brewing process by allowing them to get close to the distillation process and observe the sculptural copper gin stills in action.
The master plan also proposed to create two new glasshouses to plant 10 exotic plant specimens to use for the distillation process. These glasshouses, on a humid tropical environment, and the other a dry temperate Mediterranean climate, are located on the northern still house with the waters of the widened river. This connection allows waste heat from the distillation process to be reused to maintain the temperature for the plants.