The first two phases of the English Cities Fund’s regeneration of the Millbay Dock area of Plymouth.

We were asked to a create high density mixed use development that would set the design benchmark for a new urban quarter in Plymouth. The buildings were to bring life back to streets and provide an active frontage of workspace/retail units at ground floor with apartments above.

Over the two phases 28 houses, 158 apartments and 23,000 sq ft of retail and workspace have been completed and form two new city blocks. Cargo is designed as four distinctive buildings, set around a raised landscaped courtyard garden, while Cargo 2 sits at the heart of Millbay, and addresses a number of important street frontages as well as exploiting the stunning views to the south and west.

The multi award winning developments follow the principles of Building for Life. The new public realm and landscape rejuvenates the existing streets while both developments include discrete undercroft parking allowing the streets not to be dominated by cars. The buildings have provided a new contemporary aesthetic for the Millbay Dock area. Materials make reference to the site’s industrial heritage with its use of copper, engineering brick and timber, as well as render that echo the terraces that line the harbour.


The homes at Cargo have been imaginatively designed to take maximum advantage of the costal views. An example is the Cargo townhouses. These homes are designed as narrow frontage townhouses (3.75m in width) but cleverly inter locks the living spaces of adjacent dwellings to offer a double (7.5m wide) living space to each house that fronts the water.

The homes have proved very popular and the along with the implementation of the marina and further phases the development has been successful in transforming the once derelict dockland area.