Cargo Hall began life as, unsurprisingly, a part of the South Wharf cargo sheds. Built in 1884 the now heritage listed building was used to facilitate transport to and from small vessels on the Yarra River before larger industrial ships succeeded them and moved ports to other areas. Cargo underwent a huge redevelopment process in 2012, the goal being to create a purpose-built event space, keeping in line with its maritime history.
The result culminated in a brilliant venue with clear ties to its origin, that doesn’t overemphasize its cultural significance. The original dark floorboards still remain, feeling over 130 years of history underfoot. The timber interior is decorated with patterned reclaimed wood contrasted with dark iron plates reminiscent of industrial era ships. The back bar (that can be brightly illuminated) is lined with bottles, tying into the stories of ship workers sending messages out to sea.
Its warehouse style means that the venue feels even larger then it is with high pitched roof, and glass bi-folds running the length of the promenade side, into the glass conservatory letting in the warm afternoon sunlight and river views.
However the real talent of the venue is its versatility. Able to use its features to be able to cater for any event, after all, that was the reason the Cargo Hall was brought back and reinvigorated with fresh life.