Wigle Whiskey / Wigle Whiskey Distillery


Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Size: 4,530 SF

The Wigle Whiskey Distillery is located in a blighted area of Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District where plans for the surrounding land are being implemented to transform it into a mixed-use riverfront residential community. The addition of this retail/manufacturing and event space will help to support this new community growth.

For the adaptive reuse of a typical turn-of the century 4,530 square foot warehouse space into a whiskey distillery, our clients sought to transform the dreary warehouse into a bright, modern and sustainable space, reconsidering and re-imagining the old fashioned whiskey saloon. The design solution organizes the experience into two areas including a public space for events & retail and another for the manufacturing of whiskey. It was the desire of the client to feature the entire process of making, from milling through aging and bottling, inviting the public to learn through the guided tours.

The public space is spatially defined through the use of a custom shelving element and a chandelier of whiskey bottles. When a visitor moves past the threshold of the shelving, the space opens up to the warehouse of bright white painted steel beams & deck and masonry walls. A large translucent wall separating the two spaces provides a showcase for the bottled whiskey to be sold while providing glimpses of the copper still beyond. Large overhead doors may be opened to provide for larger events and to open up to the exterior.

The strategic use of materials, light and volume delineates the spaces and complement the copper and stainless steel equipment. The details and materials for the distillery were developed to create an atmosphere for these rebellious distillers. This project won a 2012 Pittsburgh chapter AIA award.