A £140million construction project on Speyside has been commended as the “building of the year”.
The new Macallan distillery opened amidst a fanfare of publicity, with projections it could double the amount of visitors to the attraction.
And now, the structure, which is sunk into slopes on the Easter Elchie estate overlooking the River Spey at Craigellachie, has picked up a prestigious honour.
The complex, which was built by Elgin-based construction firm Robertson, has been named as the “building of the year” at the Institute of Civil Engineers’ Saltire Awards in Edinburgh.
Project director Brian Anderson said: “Civil engineering excellence was essential for the delivery of what is without doubt the world’s greatest distillery.
“The Macallan project is a testament to everyone at Robertson applying their technical skills, innovation and expertise.”
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More than 500,000 tonnes of earth was moved for the project in order to create the building, which has an undulating grass-covered roof.
The timber top is one of the most complicated structures of its kind in the world with about 380,000 individual components that move according to the conditions inside the distillery.
Ian Curle, chief executive of Macallan’s owners, Edrington, described the building as “genius” when it opened in June.
During the final season of Macallan’s previous visitor centre, about 15,000 people passed through the doors. The distillers expect that total to double during the first year in its new home.
George McKenzie, head of UK engineering at Edrington, said: “Throughout the project, Robertson exceeded expectations by showing real commitment and dedication – both fundamental in overcoming design challenges and delivering sustainable solutions for the site.
“To receive the award is a reflection of the entire team’s high level of skill, enthusiasm and passion for what is one of Scotland’s most significant projects.”
About 60 jobs were created ahead of the opening of the distillery, which is part of a £500million investment by Edrington in Macallan.