The distillery was designed for Horse Soldier Bourbon, an American bourbon brand founded by retired US Special Forces servicemen. It is named after US soldiers who fought on horseback in Afghanistan in the weeks following the 9/11 terrorist attack.
Called Horse Soldier Farms, the distillery – which will be located in the city of Somerset, Kentucky – will be part of a 227-acre site overlooking Lake Cumberland.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners will include a tribute to the brand’s origins in the project’s design in the form of a water garden with a dramatic replica of America’s Response Monument, which is located at Ground Zero in New York and unofficially known as the Horse Soldier Statue.
An illustration of the monument is part of the bourbon whiskey brand’s logo.
Other architectural references to the brand’s story will include 12 fermentation vats arranged around a column that the studio says will be made of metal from the Statue of Liberty, as well as a recessed water feature and stillhouse that pays tribute to the World Trade Center that was destroyed in the 9/11 attack.
Horse Soldier Farms will also house a gallery that will honour the “heroes of 9/11 and also the everyday heroes of our community”.
A series of community rooms and shops will be included at the site’s Distillery Village, in addition to event and equestrian centres and a chapel. Visitors will also be able to stay at a luxury lodge.
Horse Soldier Farms will extend the route of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which is a tour of the state’s bourbon distilleries. The region’s Bourbon County is considered the birthplace of the spirit.
Founded in 2007, London-based Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has designed a number of international projects, including a recent terminal at China’s Shenzen Bao’an International Airport arranged around a covered garden.
Renderings courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners