The consultancy was approached by the client on the strength of its credentials in creating retail concepts for luxury fashion brands, and began work in July this year.
Stuart Naysmith, partner at GP Studio, says, ‘They were looking for something a bit different – they knew we’d work in a different way to other Whisky Store designs and create a different experience.
‘It was about doing something very luxury but very accessible. Whisky can be vey elitist – if you don’t know much about it you can feel alienated. We had to make it accessible but authentic, with the knowledge to be able to relate to serious whisky drinkers, all in quite a small space.’
The space aims to educate shoppers about whisky and convey ‘a sense of the skill and craftsmanship’ involved in its creation, according to GP Studio.
The store is divided into three rooms – ‘show me’, ‘tell me’ and ‘sell me’; to showcase products, educate customers and finally show them the ‘library of whisky’ from which they can purchase products.
Throughout all rooms materials including timber, copper and glass have been used, aiming to create a contemporary feel that still references the traditional heritage of whisky.
A ‘knowledge bar’ at the centre of the space houses iPads and screens, while digital displays are used elsewhere to display information about the products.
GP Studio also created bespoke neon angel wings that will hang in the library, in reference to the whisky-making terminology of ‘the angels share’ (the volume of whisky that is lost due to evaporation during the maturation process.)
Naysmith says, ‘We wanted some technology but didn’t want it to be over-the-top “techie”, as that can also be a bit scary for people. We wanted it to be friendly and keep it interesting – we wanted to create something relevant about enjoying whisky, and the taste and the experience.’