Cargo Bar, Edinburgh, Location, Photo, Phone, Architect, Design, Image

Cargo Bar, Edinburgh Quay

Edinburgh Bar + Restaurant – Lochrin Basin, Fountainbridge

Cargo Edinburgh

Cargo Edinburgh – Bar: 0131 659 7880
Location: Fountainbridge, southwest of city centre & Lothian Road

Base-build for Edinburgh Quay Ltd: Michael Laird Architects
Fit-out for Festival Hotels: lee boyd Architects

Cargo Bar Edinburgh Cargo Restaurant
Cargo bar image by Paul Zanre from lee boyd Architects

Cargo Bar Edinburgh : Opening

Information from lee boyd Feb 2005

Cargo is the first commercial premises to open its doors to the newly developed Lochrin Basin in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh. It is located on the ground and first floor levels of building A5 at what is now known as Edinburgh Quay and is hoped will become a catalyst for the opening of a number of other commercial units.

The client, Festival Hotels Ltd, are part of the Festival Group and run a number of bars, restaurants and hotels in Scotland from their head office in Edinburgh. They agreed that this should be a contemporary bar and restaurant.

The design of the Cargo Bar interior was influenced by the history of the area and the surrounding environment. The canal is obviously part of the industrial heritage of Edinburgh and we felt it was important for this to be represented in the final design. Canals were one the most effective ways of moving Cargo across the country and after we had agreed the name the industrial theme was always going to be a main influence.

Playing off the industrial theme gave us the opportunity to juxtapose industrial elements, such as exposed concrete, against high quality finishes and details of the steel and glass.

Being next to the water also gave the opportunity to introduce the sail features though these were then given a more angular and industrial form with the three dimensional frame, rather than simply taking a standard yacht sail with tensioned curves. They are lit internally helping to create a feature noticeable from outside Cargo Bar and also serve to hide the air conditioning ductwork.

Cargo Edinburgh Cargo Restaurant Fountainbridge Bar
Cargo Edinburgh images by Paul Zanre from lee boyd Architects

The client, was keen for the internal ambience of Cargo Bar to have some warmth and this was achieved with the timber used behind both bars and the timber furniture. This is then softened further with the leather upholstery.

We used the timber ‘decking’ around the perimeter of both levels – this has obvious connotations with timber decking used on pontoons and decking on ships/barges. It is also used in the outdoor landscaping at the edge of the canal itself helping to create a continuity between inside and outside.

We sourced historic images of the canal and these were used as the basis of the pixilated images produce by graphic artists LR Studios. These include swans, local people boating on the canal, Leamington Bridge, and other snapshots of the Edinburgh skyline behind the canal.

The lighting of the features such as the glass bar, behind the bar, the sails and the ‘light wall’ are all done by LED. This means that they can all be set to the same colour, or colour changing routines to suit the tones of the changing seasons and to create different moods throughout the day or for special events. Feature lights have been used around the timber perimeter bulkheads to create a more intimate dining zone with fixed seating.

With it’s circular shape and glass curtain walling the Cargo Bar is a space unique in Edinburgh’s fabric of historic stone buildings, yet it’s references to the past and the industrial history of the area mean it’s sits comfortably within this context. The transparency of the building lets the eye move easily from street to canal and provides a great and long awaited opportunity for patrons to enjoy life canal-side, whether inside or out.

Cargo Edinburgh: Building information from lee boyd, architects, 4 feb 05

Lochrin Basin – Fountainbridge canalside development, due to complete in late 2004

Cargo Restaurant Cargo Bar, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Quay images © Paul Zanre

Edinburgh Quay is a mixed-use waterfront development adjoining the financial ‘Exchange’ district. Planning permission was granted for the first phase of Edinburgh Quay, which will provide 11,000 sqm of offices in two phases, 3145 sqm of leisure, and 62 residential apartments.

Cargo Bar designer : lee boyd

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