Bombay Saphire’s nostalgic glass houses


The new location of Bombay Saphires distillery at Laverstock Mill in Hampshire is a beautiful homage to the icons of Victorian glass house construction; the Palm Houses at Kew Gardens by Decimus Burton and Richard Turner and the Crystal Palace by Joseph Paxton are key inspirations. These incredible glass and iron structures inform the design of Thomas Heatherwick’s sweeping, bell shape, glass houses that seem to grow up and into the 18th Century paper mill creating an exquisite and nostalgic piece of architecture.


The two glass houses elegantly claw and extend their way out of the river attaching themselves to the main building with an extending umbilical like connection. This connection serves to recycle and filter the excess heat produced from the distilling process and is used to keep the glass houses at a constant temperature required for the growth of the botanical plants. It’s such a fantastic idea to use each glass house (one for tropical plants and the other for Mediterranean species) to grow all 10 Bombay Saphire botanicals that are required to create the unique taste of their gin.




Stepping back and looking at the architecture as a visual piece it oozes style and it’s hard to imagine that anyone cannot enjoy the forms and shapes of this new age glass house. Thomas Heatherwick has perfectly managed to reference and enhance the ideas and styles of Decimus Burton, Richard Turner and Joseph Paxton’s glass houses and has moulded his own unique interpretation that does not fail to impress.


Photography of Bombay Saphire Glass Houses by Iwan Baan

Architectural Drawing of Bombay Saphire Glass Houses by Heatherwick Studio

Photography of Kew Gardens Palm House by Gareth Gardner

Written by Robert Jones