Barrel House 1-14

This barrel house delivers on the Jack Daniel’s commitment to authenticity with a building that harkens back to the origins of the company
Story by: David Renwick
Barrel house tourist attraction, wood, brown, black, gray
Barrel house

Lead designer: Clickspring DesignAbout the project (text supplied): Anyone taking a guided tour of the Jack Daniel’s distillery would agree that visiting an active barrel house is an unforgettably profound olfactory experience. As a barrel of whiskey matures, a portion of its contents is lost to evaporation.This inevitable process, multiplied by thousands of barrels, creates the “Angel’s Share”, a scent that blankets the building in a delightfully potent and heady aroma. It’s at this point in the tour that visitors have developed an appreciation of all of the variables that give Jack Daniel’s whiskeys their unmistakable flavour profiles. With that, visitors have been seeking guided tours that allow them to experience those flavours first-hand.

To meet these visitors’ expectations, the idea of the Barrel House 1-14 project was conceived. In order to create an experience while delivering on the Jack Daniel’s commitment to authenticity, the project - by necessity - would become a hybrid: part active barrel house where real whiskey is maturing, and part refined sampling environment where those who are deeply knowledgeable about whiskey can share intelligence with an audience in an intimate setting. Here again, the design encourages interaction and exchange between those who know, live, and work in Moore County and those visitors seeking an authentic brand experience. Within these seemingly contradictory demands, the renovation of this historic 1938 barrel house found its form.

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Glazed tasting pavilions within Barrel House 1-14 tourist attraction, black
Glazed tasting pavilions within Barrel House 1-14

In juxtaposing the ruggedly functional timber-framed building with the exacting detail of a steel and glass framing system, the design brings together the historic, functional authenticity of the barrel house structure with detailing suitable for contemporary visitors engaged in close conversation. Here, introductions will take place, information will be exchanged, and, most importantly, new friends will be made.

Entering from the east, visitors arrive in the “live” portion of the barrel house where Jack Daniel’s whiskey is being carefully stored and maintained in order to reach maturity. Further down the central corridor, visitors enter an open, three-story space with high natural light. Carefully positioned (within alcoves created by the barrels) are two tall, glass volumes supported by slender steel stanchions. Their high walls are interrupted only by the existing, interwoven, timber structure. Flanking the main aisle, these glass pavilions offer intimate and civilised sampling areas that live in stark contrast to the 1930s industrial aesthetic of the surrounding building. The western most side of the project has been opened to create a three story space that can accommodate additional tour group samplings or large scale events.

Barrel house cottage, home, house, plant, property, tree, brown
Barrel house

Crossing the last threshold, visitors are met with the familiar sight of the Jack Daniel’s Visitors Center: the point of origin for all distillery tours. Here guests will have the opportunity to explore further, pick up a customised bottle of “the local product”, and mingle with many of the personalities that continue to make Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey the American icon that it is today.

Dec 21, 2017

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