Landmark Diageo Distillery, Yunnan Province Commercial Architecture, Chinese Building Development Images

Landmark Diageo Distillery in Yunnan Province

3 Mar 2022

Design: OLI Architecture

Location: Yunnan Province, China

Landmark Diageo Distillery Yunnan Province

Photos Courtesy OLI Architecture

Landmark Diageo Distillery, China

Known for creating transcendent designs around the world, OLI Architecture’s newest project for Diageo China, Ltd. broke ground recently and applies the studio’s characteristic attention to form, light, and site resonance to a new distillery and visitors’ center nestled in the valley of China’s snowcapped Cangshan mountains.

The whisky distillation process, coupled with OLI Architecture’s signature response to surrounding landscape, inspired the design concept “Of Nature, to Nature,” highlighting the circular relationship of the architecture to its context. The collection of buildings and outdoor spaces make extensive use 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.

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.

Phase one of the project incorporates a 2,500sqm Visitors’ Center with a technologically advanced 12,500sqm distillery. 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 organized into zones for the complete whiskey production process – 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.

Founding Partner Hiroshi Okamoto says, “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. 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.”

Landmark Diageo Distillery Yunnan Province

Landmark Diageo Distillery in Yunnan Province, China – Building Information

Design: OLI Architecture –

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

Photography Courtesy OLI Architecture

Landmark Diageo Distillery, Yunnan Province images / information received 030322 from OLI Architecture

Location: Yunnan Province, China, eastern Asia

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