The Chuan Malt Whisky Destillery

Neri & Hu
Emeishan, China

The site of the project is an exemplification of the Chinese notion of the duality of natural elements making up the world we live in

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Photos: © Chen Hao

The architecture of the complex manifests this balanced duality. The industrial buildings here interpret vernacular Chinese architecture on a modern note, while the spaces meant for visitors take on elemental geometries. The three sheds where whisky is produced are placed parallel to one another on the north part of the site, tucked into the gentle natural slope of the land. In contrast with the production sheds’ vernacular roots, the two buildings designed for the visitor experience rise on a circle and a square.

In the industrial zone, reclaimed clay tiles give a humble texture to the pitched roofs that rest on a modern frame of concrete posts and beams. The infill of the rock walls came from boulders extracted from the ground during site leveling, so the cycle of destruction and recreation can go on and on, in permanent evolution. In the visitor-experience buildings, a variety of concrete, cement, and stone mixtures is the basic palette of materials, resonating with the strong mineral nature of the place.

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