Tasting Room

OKRA Studio, Edinburgh, 2019


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Murray Orr / Vangeli Moschophoulos     Download Original

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The was briefed to design a temporary structure within the Sweetdram Distillery that would function as a tasting room for the spirits produced on site, and as a showcase for the brand. 

Positioned as the first structure that visitors interact with upon entering the space suggested a need for something striking and simultaneously coherent to Sweetdram’s brand identity. The brief required the tasting room to operate in a flexible manner, allowing the team to use it as sampling point for small groups or as a bar to service larger events. 

Sweetdram’s budget was very tight, so achieving the requirements of the brief provided an exciting challenge in both material selection and simplicity of design, to cut down on construction time.  

The tasting room exists as an ‘island’ within the warehouse of the distillery. It provides an immediate focal point for visitors when they first enter the site, referencing the bright colour and linear quality of the brand aesthetic without being overly literal. A social ‘space within a space’; simultaneously enclosed and yet open to the activity of the distillery.  

Built as a timber-framed box, it opens on three sides to meet the need for flexibility, providing intimacy, as well as the opportunity to expand into the warehouse for larger events. With a limited budget, the design required an economic and inventive choice of materials. The modular nature of the exposed timber creates a regular rhythm, which is emphasised throughout the structure by using translucent polycarbonate panels.

The design deploys a palette of materials that reflect the industrial nature of the distillery and the clean, graphic quality of the brand. Balancing cost with considered detailing, to create an elegant room that bridges the gap between production and sensory experience.


  • Begun: Aug 2018
  • Completed: Oct 2019
  • Floor area: 22m2
  • Sector: Industrial
  • Total cost: £10,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: May 2018
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Address: Sweetdram Distillery 54 Bankhead Crossway , Edinburgh, EH11 4EP, United Kingdom

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