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Sat September 25 2021

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Designs unveiled for Kentucky whiskey development

19 Nov 18 Shigeru Ban Architects has been chosen for a new distillery and tourist centre for the Kentucky Owl whiskey brand in the USA.

Stoli Group has chosen Shigeru Ban Architects to oversee the plans and development of the Kentucky Owl Park. The 420-acre site at Cedar Creek Quarry will include rickhouses for ageing, a bottling centre, a distillery and offices for the American Whiskey Division of Stoli Group. The aim is for Kentucky Owl Park to become a tourist destination, connected to other distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Kentucky Owl Park will be a collection of one-of-a-kind buildings that are rooted in industrial vernacular design and sited within the natural rustic landscape. Shigeru Ban's vision for the site hearkens back to the 19th century, with long-span steel structures that have been reinterpreted with the use of mass timber. Each building will have a distinct structural form that incorporates visual elements of the local bourbon-making process. The existing quarry pits will be turned into lakes.

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"When evaluating architectural firms for Kentucky Owl Park, it was imperative that the selected group boasted a strong portfolio of work, but also that their plans for this initiative truly pushed the boundaries within the design world and along the Bourbon Trail," said Yuri Shefler, owner of SPI Group, the parent company of Stoli Group and the Kentucky Owl brand.

Dean Maltz, Managing Partner of Shigeru Ban Architects, added: “This is an opportunity for us to challenge ourselves like never before, as these plans serve as our first Kentucky distillery and incorporate unique highlights and nods to the industry and its history, while prioritising light and a connection to nature, features the architectural world has come to expect from our firm."

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