Soda: Sweetdram Workshop

Precedent study written for Wabi Sabi: Store + Studio project


DATE: 2016

Sweetdram is a modern distillery based in Edinburgh that creates “progressive, flavour-driven spirits”. (Sweetdram, n.d.)

The brief for the project was to design a space to accommodate product display, classes and workshops, and office areas. The design was to reflect the creativity of the brand, whilst remaining functional and adaptable - “The viral nature of the company means never staying in the same place for too long – as such, each new piece of construction must reflect this, and be designed to be de-constructed and recreated in another space.” (Architonic, 2016)

The main element that dominates the space is a free standing monolithic wall, designed by cabinet maker David Vivian, that provides storage and separates the space. The storage wall holds shelving, drawers, fold-out work surfaces and doors. The division of the space creates a private office area that can be closed off from the rest of the space.


“Designed to be as flexible as possible, each of the interior elements was built with the ability to change position at a moment’s notice, instantly adapting the space to cater to a number of different functions.” (Sturges, 2016)

Cork and copper are used to reflect the brand and the equipment used in the distilling and bottling processes. Polished concrete is used to create a durable work surface and ties in with the concrete floor. The same material palette is used throughout the space, within the kitchen, bar and furniture. Details such as the handles on the cupboard doors reflect the geometry in the distillery’s logo, and further add to the unique and bespoke nature of the design. 

“SODA’s approach has been to use a limited, modern materials palette to inform a ‘kit of parts’ to design practical, minimal interiors, which reinforce Sweetdram’s contemporary take on liqueur’s for modern tastes.” (SODA, 2016)

The way that SODA has considered every part of the brand, from the logo to the distilling process is very inspiring and creates a truly unique design that is well-rounded and in-depth. The adaptable nature of the modular wall reflects the proposed concept of ‘wabi sabi’, as it emphasises the value of impermanence and changing over time. This also reflects the brand ethos, and so a modular storage wall will be added to the workshop space to create an element that can accommodate the different workshop events. This balance of creativity and functionality is very inspiring and will be a key aspect of the workshop area.


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