Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery

Michael Grubb Studio

Client: "Client – Ad Gefrin (Alan, Eileen and Chris Ferguson) Lighting Design – Michael Grubb Studio Architect – Richard Elphick, supported by Todd Milburn, Red Fox, and JCP Construction – Brims Construction Ltd Interior Design – Studio MB"

Ad Gefrin is a unique museum, visitor experience and whisky distillery. Michael Grubb Studio was appointed to create a lighting design to showcase the brand in multiple areas, including the Distillery, Barrel Store, Bisto, Retail, Function Room, Museum and Atrium. 

Natural light played a vital role in the design, as large windows allow plenty of daylight. After dark, minimal lighting creates a warm ambience, with low levels of brightness to respect the dark skies.

Sophisticated, warm lighting highlights the architectural design in the impressive, domed Atrium entrance. The design approach needed to suit the traditional construction techniques used to craft a beautiful, high-end finish. 

The Bistro is flooded with light, requiring the design to have presence during the day and night. A decorative light feature was created using 270 glass globes internally illuminated by fibre optics suspended from the ceiling, inspired by Northumberland’s starscape. Significant co-ordination and planning went into the design and optical fibre installation to overcome the challenge presented by the sloped, narrow ceiling.

The lighting needed to serve multiple functions, such as in the Distillery, a working environment also toured by visitors. Functional and decorative lighting were combined to create two lighting scenes for each requirement. Directional, warm spotlights illuminate the distillery copper pot stills, enhancing the raw materials and textures, as well as highlighting interior architectural features.

The Function Room features a vaulted ceiling with large, curved, tiered copper-leafed pendants. The illumination within the tasting experience was kept minimal by using narrow beam, discretely mounted spotlights and LED light sheets to highlight the colour and qualities of the whisky. This approach was also used in the Great Hall and Museum to ensure that the artefacts and AV are the focal point. Retail lighting allows the displays to be used flexibly with feature lighting highlighting available products.