Ardbeg Distillery

Located on the Southern coast on the Isle of Islay, Ardbeg has been distilled since 1815. After 200 years the Ardbeg Distillery is currently expanding its distilling capacity within its historic site. Ardbeg, the award winning whisky, will be distilled within a new stillhouse which will increase the number of stills from two to four.

Location:  Isle of Islay, Ardbeg
Client:  Glenmorangie
Cost:  £5m
Completion: under construction

At the outset the client wished to construct a new Stillhouse which would be sympathetic to the historical distillery buildings. Whilst allowing whisky to be crafted and distilled in a traditional manner.

The new stillhouse was located local to the shoreline to take advantage of the rugged coastline and the dramatic views over the sea.

The expansion project required substantial re-development of the site including construction of a new boiler-house and demolition of the existing boiler-house to facilitate the new stillhouse.

Development of the site masterplan and concept design of the expansion and stillhouse was undertaking by INCA Architects, from Grenoble, France.
Blyth & Blyth were the Lead Consultant for the detailed design supported by Norr Architects and Thomson Bethune as Cost Consultants.

Key challenges

The Distillery attracts approximately 10,000 visitors a year and maintaining a visitor experience was a key factor to be consider with respect to site activities and co-ordination of deliveries and ensuring safe operations on site.

A key business driver was to ensure that production was maintained was not compromised during the site works and temporary production tie-ins were coordinated with planned shutdowns.

To allow future maintenance to be undertaken design of the stillhouse and boilerhouse needed to consider access for equipment removal this has been incorporated within the design of the building which will allow the distillery to undertake future maintenance with minimum disruption to the building fabric.


Maintaining full operation of the distillery along with minimising impact of visitors was a primary goal at the outset of the project. This was achieved with cooperation of process designers Allen Associates, the distillery production team and the construction team.