Good news if you’re traveling to Hampshire, England any time soon: Bombay Sapphire’s new Laverstoke Mill location is now open.
It’s hard to know where to look first: at the stills—one of which is over 200 years old—or at the beautiful twin greenhouses created by British designer Thomas Heatherwick (pictured above), that are heated using warm air created during the distilling process.
Laverstoke Mill was formerly an abandoned paper mill where pound notes were printed. Earlier this year, bartender Remy Savage won Bombay Sapphire’s World’s Most Imaginative Bartender contest with his Paper Anniversary cocktail, which he created to honor the not-yet-opened Laverstoke Mill location. As promised, it’s now Bombay Sapphire’s glorious new home.
Here’s a fascinating video with some more information on the structure.
Both greenhouses are needed to grow all 10 of the botanicals that give Bombay Sapphire its distinct taste: juniper, lemon peel, grains of paradise, coriander, cubeb berries, orris root, almonds, cassia bark, liquorice, and angelica. Some botanicals require a tropical climate, while others prefer a Mediterranean climate—hence the two greenhouses.
The design is visually breathtaking, but what’s even more impressive is the thought process that linked these two greenhouses to the gin distillation hall.
To understand Heatherwick’s design choices, it’s important to understand Bombay Sapphire’s vapor infusion process, which this video explains in just one minute.
The beautiful copper stills produce heat during the vapor infusion process. Heatherwick’s design harnesses that heat, funneling it into the greenhouses for use in controlling their climates, according to Dezeen.
As Heatherwick explains, over 100 additional species of greenery are harbored in the two greenhouses because they help to create the climates in which the 10 essential botanicals flourish.
Heatherwick also provides great detail on exactly what went into building these structures:
Here are a couple more photos:
Heatherwick’s design is the first-ever distillery to earn an “Outstanding” BREEAM rating, which is a worldwide standard to award sustainability in design and building.
Even if gin isn’t your poison of choice, we wouldn’t be surprised if you were booking a flight right now to see this in person.