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Bombay Sapphire - Laverstoke Mill - Glass House Exterior Artist Impression - Heatherwicks Studio
Bombay Sapphire - Laverstoke Mill - Glass House Exterior Artist Impression - Heatherwicks Studio
Bombay Sapphire - Laverstoke Mill - Glass House Interior Artist Impression - Heatherwicks Studio
Bombay Sapphire - Laverstoke Mill - Glass House Interior Artist Impression - Heatherwicks Studio


Visionary designer Thomas Heatherwick to restore historic site into distillery and visitor center for iconic gin brand

LONDON, 24 July 2012, PRNewswireBOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, the world’s number one premium gin by value1, unveils plans for its distillery in Laverstoke Mill, Hampshire. The project is a multi-million pound restoration of the historic buildings which housed one of England’s most significant bank note paper making facilities. The design imagined for the site is headed by acclaimed London designer Thomas Heatherwick and his team at Heatherwick Studio. The site will be completely renovated from a derelict mill into a state of the art premium gin distillery and visitor centre encompassing the highest standards in design, functionality and sustainability.

The distillery will be built on a two hectare brown-field site, near the grounds of Laverstoke Park, just 60 miles from London. For 200 years, the site produced high quality paper for the bank notes of India and the British Empire. The site is steeped in natural beauty, astride the crystal clear River Test – and historically associated with producing the finest quality product through the care and skill of those who owned it and worked there. The newly renovated site will be the first opportunity the public has to discover the home of this iconic spirits brand.

The ambition for the project restores the buildings and grounds and its heritage while introducing a new structure that will complement the existing buildings as a showcase of the brand’s intrinsic quality that reflects the aspirations of the Bombay Sapphire brand. The highlight of the complex build is the glass house for Bombay Sapphire gin’s 10 botanicals. As a major feature of Laverstoke Mill, the glass house is a symbol of the brand’s careful, skillful and imaginative approach to gin making.

Heatherwick comments on the design: “As the particular flavours of Bombay Sapphire gin are derived from ten botanicals, the centrepiece of the site is a glass house, within which visitors will experience the specific horticultural specimens infused in the spirit. The glass house, influenced by Britain’s rich heritage of glass house structures, will be two separate structures providing both a humid environment for spices that originate from the tropics, as well as a dry temperate zone for Mediterranean plants. We are thrilled to have the chance to take this historic site, and turn it from its current derelict state into a new industrial facility with national significance.”

The 10 year relationship between the brand and Thomas Heatherwick started when he was crowned the inaugural winner of the Bombay Sapphire Prize – an international award for excellence and innovation in glass. Alongside high profile designers he joined the Bombay Sapphire Foundation, which encourages and rewards the very best in contemporary design and glass design in particular. In 2010, he was approached by the Bombay Sapphire team to design the brand home in Laverstoke.

Bombay Sapphire Global Category Director John Burke adds: “It’s a very exciting time for the Bombay Sapphire team, especially now that we’re seeing our plan for Laverstoke Mill come into fruition. With tradition, quality and craftsmanship at the heart of the site’s heritage, we can finally look forward to opening our doors to consumers worldwide and share with them the care, skill and imagination that is infused in the spirit we produce. Bombay Sapphire gin has experienced great success and growth over the last 10 years and with the opening of the brand’s home and consumer experience, we are very optimistic for next decade.”

In February 2012, planning permission to restore Laverstoke was granted and the build process is now underway and managed by Meller Ltd, with a goal the distillery will open its doors in autumn 2013.

Meller Managing Director, Graham Cartledge adds: “Meller is proud to be leading the development of Laverstoke Mill into a world class production facility and unique visitors centre. Our expert team looks forward to delivering this exceptional project in a way that fulfills Bombay Sapphire’s brand aspirations and also the technical requirements of restoring a site with such heritage, environmental consideration and unique design.”

For more information about Bombay Sapphire at Laverstoke Mill, please visit www.laverstokemill.co.uk or www.bombaysapphire.com.

1 Data sourced from International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR), for the 12 months to the end of December 2010

Notes to Editors:

Media Contacts

For additional information including images and video or to schedule an interview with Thomas Heatherwick or John Burke, please contact:

Tarita Mullings on +44(0)207-413-3143

Alex Wilson on +44(0)20-7413-5966

About Bombay Sapphire

Bombay Sapphire is the world’s fastest growing premium gin and number one premium gin by value. Based on a secret 1761 recipe, Bombay Sapphire gin is created by perfectly balancing a unique combination of 10 hand-selected exotic botanicals from around the world. The natural flavours of the botanicals are captured through a delicate distillation process called Vapour Infusion which results in the tantalising, smooth and complex taste that is Bombay Sapphire gin.


Bombay Sapphire aims to inspire people into expanding their minds, thinking differently to reveal more about themselves and their Imaginations. The Bombay Sapphire team believes everyone has imagination and therefore aims to give everyone the opportunity to be inspired, and to infuse their imagination with Bombay Sapphire.



About the Partners

Bombay Sapphire is working with skilled partners on the restoration of Laverstoke Mill, including Heatherwick Studio on design, Meller on build and GWP on architecture.

Heatherwick Studio

Heatherwick Studio was formed in 1994 by Thomas Heatherwick to make unique design projects happen. Today a team of over 80 architects, designers and makers work from a combined studio and workshop in King’s Cross, London, UK. At the heart of Heatherwick Studio’s work is a profound commitment, at every scale, to finding innovative design solutions with an absolute dedication to artistic thinking and the latent potential of materials and craftsmanship.

Work to date includes the award winning UK Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, the Rolling Bridge in Paddington, and London’s new red double decker bus, which came into operation in March of this year.
Current works include the Olympic Cauldron for the London 2012 games, a regeneration masterplan scheme for a new business district in Hong Kong, mixed-use schemes in Shanghai, and a 200-passenger capacity tourist boat for a river estuary in France. Thomas is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects; a Senior Fellow at the Royal College of Art; a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Arts and Commerce; and a Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum. He won the Prince Philip Designers Prize, and in 2004, was the youngest practitioner to be appointed a Royal Designer for Industry.

In 2010 Thomas was awarded the London Design Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to design. From May to September of this year, the work of Heatherwick Studio is the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.


About Meller

Meller is a multi-disciplined capital consultancy offering specialist expertise to the Food and Drink Sector.

Our services are diverse. We ensure the successful completion of multi million pound schemes or deliver bespoke services ranging from architectural design, cost management, project management and construction management. Our objective is to answer our clients brief by ensuring a flexible, innovative and a cost effective solution.

Our knowledge and experience in delivering successful construction schemes has been developed extensively. We are passionate about providing the right answers to our client’s complex questions.

About GWP

GWP is a chartered practice of architects, sustainable/interior/urban designers, landscape planners and BREEAM Assessors. Founded in 1980 the practice has offices within the UK and Czech Republic.

Experience within the practice extends to a wide range of building types working in both the public and private sectors, including museums/visitor centres, industrial, food/drink and warehouse/distribution, office, residential, health care, commercial leisure, racecourses, universities.

The design of sustainable, low energy buildings is at the centre of our design philosophy, ensuring that the architecture we deliver is sustainable from inception through to completion and beyond. Every opportunity is taken during the design process to deliver creative solutions to developments which provide economic, social and environmental benefits.

GWP are highly successful at securing beneficial planning consents and are frequently approached to work on schemes of a complex or sensitive nature. GWP design solutions continue to be recognised by numerous architectural and conservation awards.