Project Description

The Macallan’s new distillery and visitor experience is showcasing quality and craftsmanship beyond its own brand values.

The £140m 14,800m2 venue that is home to the world’s leading luxury single malt(1) is being ventilated by grilles and diffusers manufactured by Gilberts, the UK’s primary independent air movement specialist, and installed by SES Engineering Services.

The Gilberts vents ensure efficient, adequate airflow throughout the visitor experience, management suite and specific areas of the distillery itself. Gilberts’ linear slot diffusers, linear bar grilles and double deflection grilles have all been integrated into the complex building which has been cut into and below ground of the historic Speyside estate that is home to The Macallan, and an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Gilberts and SES formed part of a team of 25 sub contractors working with main contractor Robertson to an award-winning design(2) developed by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners.

“There were a number of design challenges to overcome,” explained SES Project Manager Thomas Hardie. “We had to devise a solution that would balance the visual appearance and aesthetic detailing required, whilst integrating with associated technology, that all had to perform as specified. Clean lines, discreet placement and unobtrusive products were key.

In addition, as we were fixing some of the grilles into systems such as the air curtains supplied by others, we had to be sure the products supplied were manufactured to millimetre-precise specifications and tolerances: From experience, we knew Gilberts could meet that challenge.”

Most of Gilberts solutions for The Macallan have been fitted into the ceilings, including 1200 x 300 plank ceilings grids, where Gilberts’ Series GSL provided the contemporary lines in a discreet solution that met the exacting specifications. Series L linear strip grilles ensure appropriate fresh air in and exhaust air out of the main visitor centre and distillery switch rooms, whilst Series G double deflector grilles with individually adjustable aerofoil blades air the management suite offices.

Gilberts manufactures all its products in-house; it designs and fabricates its own jigs and presses for its components, and is the only independent company in its field to have- again which it designed & built in house- its own test laboratory to both model designs pre-production and validate air movement solutions.

Family-owned Gilberts was founded almost 60 years ago. It has grown organically to become the UK’s leading independent ventilation specialist, with its tram having unrivalled, industry-acknowledged expertise in air movement. Based in Blackpool, its 95,000sq ft facility comprises head office, factory, warehouse and distribution.


  1. A decanter of Macallan whisky sold for $628,205 in 2014, becoming the most expensive single malt sold at auction
  2. Winner of Scottish Design Award 2018 Culture & Leisure category