IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 22

I DESIGN |

How an Idea Hatched

TOBY WALLIS on how he turned The Distillery

into a modern gin palace.
By | Emily Brooks

S

"

We aimed
to make it
a timeless
interior with
a nod to
the past,
rather than
a traditional
pub.

"

-Toby Wallis

22

perspective

Sometimes the best inspiration can
come from a bottle.
Just over a year ago, Toby Wallis
and his team at Architectural
Emporium started designing The
Distillery, the four-story headquarters
of award-winning gin maker Portobello
Road in London, England. But, this
was to be more than just your average
working distillery. Portobello Road's
founders wanted to create a fully
immersive experience-including
two bars/eateries, a museum and
demonstration room, a private dining
room, and three guest rooms-where
gin influenced the design at every turn.

Starting Point
Portobello Road is still a young
brand, yet its elaborate packaging
gives it the air of a distinguished
heritage-and that's where Wallis
and his team found their first spark
of inspiration. "It's an old-fashioned
recipe for London dry gin but with

iida.org/perspective

a couple of modern twists," he says.
"So in a way, the interior is similar
to that."
Several of the materials used-
including the iroko, pattern glass,
and tiled floors-are what would
be found in an old pub, but the
execution is brighter and more
polished. Wallis went with "dark,
rich colors that have that heritage
look" and make a bold statement
throughout the space. Bespoke
lighting, vibrant artwork, and display
cases of vintage bottles are some of
the special touches that Wallis and
his team planted throughout the
various rooms.
"We aimed to make it a timeless
interior with a nod to the past, rather
than a traditional pub," Wallis says.

The Right Ingredients
With all of the rooms competing for
attention in The Distillery, Wallis and
his team had to find ways to unify the

design without tempering the unique
experiences created in each one.
Instead of weaving a common
theme throughout the entire
building, they tied the individual
rooms together in the details.
For example, the furniture has a
midcentury modern feel in the firstfloor bar, The Resting Room. It's
a style that's carried through to the
three guest bedrooms.
And the copper from the stills used
in Portobello Gin's distillery in the
basement served as the inspiration
for many design details. A deep reveal
between The Resting Room bar and
the snug is lined in copper, and the
bar-counter is also made from it, as
are the door thresholds.
"It was a difficult brief because
there were so many different
elements to it," Wallis says. "The
skill was in refining it so there was
some kind of consistency that ran
through the building."


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017

IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017
Contents
From IIDA
Next
World View
Sum of Its Parts
Talk, Talk
Pre/Post
Data Viz
A Common Good
Pop Goes Design
A New School of Thought
Balancing Act
Scratch Pad
Insider Intel
Sound Bytes
IIDA News + Updates
Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 1
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Next
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 8
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 10
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - World View
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Sum of Its Parts
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Talk, Talk
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Pre/Post
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Data Viz
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 22
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - A Common Good
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 28
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 30
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Pop Goes Design
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 34
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 36
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - A New School of Thought
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 40
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 42
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Balancing Act
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Scratch Pad
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Insider Intel
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 51
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Sound Bytes
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - IIDA News + Updates
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 55
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover4
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