kengo kuma's kintsugi sculpture encases rare 48-year dalmore whisky

kengo kuma's kintsugi sculpture encases rare 48-year dalmore whisky

kengo kuma sculpts aging of architecture & whisky for dalmore

 

Kengo Kuma and The Dalmore distils the shared connection between architecture and whisky into a rare series of sculpted bottles, single malts and displays. The Japanese architect and protégé Maurizio Mucciola accentuate the values of aging in both disciplines, the respectful use of natural materials and process, and the pursuit for continued excellence over a lifetime. The Dalmore Luminary No.1 2022 edition bottles this into a rare 48-year-old malt.

 

For the launch of Luminary series, designboom visited the V&A Dundee to speak with Kengo Kuma and collaborators.

kengo kuma's kintsugi sculpture encases rare 48-year dalmore whisky
Kengo Kuma’s collaboration christens The Dalmore’s Luminary series created in partnership with the V&A Dundee

All images courtesy of The Dalmore

 

 

dalmore luminary design series with V&A Dundee

 

Kengo Kuma’s collaboration christens The Dalmore’s Luminary series created in partnership with the V&A Dundee. The three-year series releases three editions of bespoke whiskies, each with a rare and collectible version; the series also tells the stories of visionary artisans – in whisky and design – as they hone their craft. Scotland’s design museum aids the curation of luminaries from the world of design.

kengo kuma's kintsugi sculpture encases rare 48-year dalmore whisky
The series tells the stories of visionary artisans – in whisky and design – as they hone their respective crafts

 

 

The No.1 2022 edition showcases the combined skills of two masters and their protégés: Kengo Kuma and Maurizio Mucciola, and master distiller Richard Paterson and master maker Gregg Glass. The architect and master distiller co-conceived a rare 48-year-old single malt that embodies the pursuit of excellence over a lifetime for the collaborators, as the whisky is finished in casks of Scottish Tay oak and air dried Japanese oak. Only three bottles will be made, housed in a unique glass decanter created specially by the architect.

 

The collaboration was all about understanding each other. The Dalmore did not want to give Kengo Kuma a specific brief; we all wanted an organic collaboration. This has been the real beauty and charm of what we have developed. The series – its whiskies, case and sculpture – are the results of the cross-fertilisation of our ideas and experiences,‘ explains Gregg Glass, master maker at The Dalmore, to designboom.

kengo kuma's kintsugi sculpture encases rare 48-year dalmore whisky
Only three bottles of the rare 48-year-old whisky will be made, encased in a sculpture designed by the architect

 

 

a kintsugi reflection of rarity

 

The immensely scarce 48-year-old whisky is encased by a one-of-three sculpture designed by Kengo Kuma, inspired by the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi. Like this artistry, 48 handcrafted particles of oak – one for each year aged by the single malt – are fused organically using metal, as if autumnal leaves nested together. The use of wood references the architect and distillery’s respect for nature in their craft. The metal acts to mirror the interplay of rich tones and light that shimmers through the negative space of the sculpture.

 

I decided early on in the collaboration to use the idea of kintsugi,‘ notes Kengo Kuma to designboom. ‘Kintsugi is an artisan method of reassembling materials of a broken object, like ceramic. It is a process that shows sustainability but also the actual process of making. Kintsugi enriches the object and gives more value than before. This reflects the shared philosophies of architecture and whisky, and the union of different ideas from Japan and Scotland.

the-dalmore-luminary-series-kengo-kuma-va-dundee-designboom07

The No.1 2022 edition sees Kengo Kuma and Maurizio Mucciola (far right) collaborate with master distiller Richard Paterson (center left) and master maker Gregg Glass (center right)

 

 

With the Kengo Kuma-designed V&A Dundee as the backdrop for the Luminary series, the distinctive natural design approach of the architect is shared in the philosophy of The Dalmore. Location is integral to exceptional, unique creations for both architecture and whisky. The soil and timber is key to tailor taste and flavor in the whisky-making process, for example. The no.1 edition recycled fallen oak from the banks of Dundee’s River Tay for its casks.

 

The concept of the sculpture is to reflect the collaboration between myself and The Dalmore. This is why we referenced kintsugi as we combined two types of wood: Japanese and Scottish Tay oak. The sculptural pieces appear natural, like leaves floating the sky. They are arranged in a very futuristic geometry; it is natural but contemporary,‘ continues the architect.

kengo kuma's kintsugi sculpture encases rare 48-year dalmore whisky
The Maurizio Mucciola-designed case for the Collectible version reflects the free-flowing design of the sculpture

 

 

collectible continuation of the design collaboration

 

The Collectible version echoes the messages of the rare edition with a special but more accessible 15-year-old single malt. The whisky was originally encased in American white oak and finished in hand selected Italian Amorone red wine casks, like the bespoke Kintsugi casks. It is housed in a unique contemporary case designed by Kengo Kuma’s protégé Maurizio Mucciola. The case mirrors the sculpture as a seemingly animated geometry of particles scatter across the box.

 

The inspiration was the collaboration itself. The leaf-like pieces look just like the environment around The Dalmore’s distillery in autumn. Aspects of light blends with the forestry, open-sourcing of materials and other connections with life. The design of the sculpture looks living and breathing, as it shows different interpretations as the viewer’s angle changes. The whisky has been designed to reflect this free-flowing spirit as well,‘ adds The Dalmore’s master maker.

kengo kuma's kintsugi sculpture encases rare 48-year dalmore whisky
The case mirrors the sculpture as a seemingly animated geometry of particles scatter across the box

 

 

The first of two sculptures created to display The Dalmore Luminary No.1 2022 rare edition is to be sold at Sotheby’s London, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the V&A Dundee. The second will be on display at the distillery’s home in the Scottish Highlands. The architect’s proof of sculpture is to be exhibited at the museum from the end of October 2022.

kengo kuma's kintsugi sculpture encases rare 48-year dalmore whisky
Looking like leaves, the 48 pieces of the sculpture combines the natural influences of Kengo Kuma and The Dalmore

the-dalmore-luminary-series-kengo-kuma-va-dundee-designboom06

The process of Kintsugi showcases the shared values, experiences and ideas of the collaboration

kengo kuma's kintsugi sculpture encases rare 48-year dalmore whisky
Kengo Kuma’s sculptural design is distinctive of his continued influences from nature

 

 

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project info:

 

brand: The Dalmore

series: No.1 2022 edition

versions: rare and collectible

collaborators: Kengo Kuma, Maurizio Mucciola, Richard Paterson and Gregg Glass

partners: V&A Dundee

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