Bombay Sapphire's Laverstoke Mill is a Sustainable Marvel

by Rupert Watkins
Jan 8, 2018 10:30 AM ET
Photography by Andy Barnham

Originally published by Riddle

Tucked away in verdant Hampshire, a small complex that was once home to the factory printing the British Empire’s bank notes is now home to something just as tantalising – a gin distillery. Since 2011, Laverstoke Mill has been home to one of the most recognisable of gins, Bombay Sapphire. Sitting astride the well-known River Test, the site’s money printing story goes back as far as 1719 and remains visible to this day in the shape of several Grade II listed cottages and buildings still used by the gin brand.

Since the gin distillery took up residence, the most striking addition to this quiet Victorian site has been the two intertwining glasshouses, designed by Thomas Heatherwick’s studio. Behind these picturesque scenes though lies the heart of Laverstoke; the ecological and sustainability emphasis that is key to the site. A biomass boiler uses by-products from the distillation to provide heat and hot water; through this, coupled with a photovoltaic array and a hydro-electric turbine on the river, up to 85 per cent of the site’s power is self-generated to reduce its carbon footprint.

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