Wild Turkey Bourbon Visitor Center

PrizeBronze in Architectural Design / Commercial Architecture
Firm LocationLouisville, United States
CompanyDe Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop
ClientGruppo Campari (USA-Campari America)

Located on a bluff overlooking the Kentucky River, the Visitor Center is the newest component of recent additions & expansions to the Wild Turkey Distillery Complex, one of seven original member distilleries of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The 9,140 s.f. facility houses interactive exhibits, a gift shop, event venues, a tasting room and ancillary support spaces. In concert with a major re-branding program under new ownership (Gruppo Campari), the project specifically focuses on exploring possibilities for: •Reinforcing the new direction in product re- branding & marketing efforts •Providing an immersive, interactive visitor experience that capitalizes on the dramatic landscape •Referencing the specificity of place & context through regional building traditions A key component of re-envisioning the Wild Turkey brand is the need to appeal to its two primary target demographics – the longtime devoted fan that has had a long history with its core, top-selling products, and the growing legion of new bourbon enthusiasts who are only now beginning to discover its coveted premium range of small batch spirits. Within this context, the design approach draws on the concept of ‘duality’, bridging tradition and innovation through elements that are deliberately both familiar and new. Utilizing a simple barn silhouette (an interpretation of Kentucky tobacco barns common to the area), the building presents a clear & recognizable marker at the scale of the landscape. Clad in a custom chevron pattern of stained wood siding, the simplicity of the barn form is contrasted by the intricacy of the building skin at closer range, creating a shifting sense of scale and tactility that is deliberately both simple and complex. Alternating areas of light-filtering lattice blur the boundaries between inside/out and light/dark. By night, the solidity of the dark structure transforms into a delicate, glowing lantern of filigree perched above the river.