Design Focus: Thirty Knots

Thirty Knots

5617674C-E40C-4F65-932A-7155934E4406Thirty Knots is the latest opening from family-owned Buzzworks Holdings. The newly-launched venue at South Queensferry brings the number of venues in its estate to sixteen, and Thirty Knots, like many of the group’s other venues, boasts incredible views.

Having taken over the former site of The Three Bridges, Thirty Knots is situated beneath the iconic Forth Rad and Rail Bridges in Edinburgh, and features an impressive restaurant and a modern take on the traditional pub with views out over the Firth of Forth. The venue also has an impressive outdoor area which makes the most of the views.  And the finishing touches are being put to a private events space upstairs.


3F5EE0BC-3FC2-4500-BBE3-43426B522791Says operations manager Stephen Buchanan, “The concept is something that we’ve been carefully crafting for quite some time .” The extensive renovation of the 19th century B listed building has seen Buzzworks invest a sizeable six-figure sum, with Founder and Chairman of Buzzworks, Colin Blair, and internationally acclaimed designer Jim Hamilton leading up the project.

Jim Hamilton comments, “The Thirty Knots site is pretty special, with a world class backdrop, within a cool little town on the banks of the Forth.

“Buzzworks always try hard to make their venues locally relevant, whilst avoiding cliches or themes, it certainly isn’t required when the close up view out of the window is the stunning behemoth that is the Forth Rail Bridge.

“We have taken small snippets of inspiration from the locality, but in earnest we have just tried to deliver a great intimate local venue that appeals to a wide audience of locals, and the ever-present tourists from all corners of Scotland, and much further afield.

“The aim as ever, was to deliver a cosy, warm, inviting, and socially inclusive restaurant, with an interlinked bar space that works as a natural overspill from the main room.

8F5037DF-5E79-451B-8306-A996AD099382“Added to that, there was a clear brief to make sure that the interior was equally aspirational in terms of look and feel, somewhere that you would happily nip into for lunch, a cocktail, or a pint on a regular basis, whilst also visiting when you felt like dressing up to celebrate a special family occasion. Inclusion is key, everyone should feel comfortable, and the spaces should be easily accessible to everyone, both socially, and physically. The construction team have manoeuvred a huge amount of stone, soil and tarmac to give easy access for customers with prams or wheelchairs from the car park. The guest experience should start outside the front door, and not just inside.

“When we first visited the empty space, it was clear that the existing series of individual rooms were going to make it difficult to create an inclusive atmosphere, where the customers weren’t segregated into different rooms.

77B48926-D850-448F-9092-AA9699D7BC695CE1AD79-677B-4F62-B0ED-8B54D8B192B2“We re-shaped various walls to open up linear views for all customers, one long conjoined volume, that is broken down by texture and tone, rather than by structure, with an open view from the bar through to the snug at the opposite end, closest to the rail bridge.

“We have only scratched the surface with regard to the potential of the vast external terraces, but watch this space regarding the eventual composition and operation of these, it will be pretty special, gazing across the Forth on a warm sunny evening from the elevated terraces.

“I had never actually been to South Queensferry before working on the earlier design for Scott’s with Buzzworks, and then more recently Outboard, with Thirty Knots completing a nice trilogy of venues, all looking on to the River Forth, and the 3 bridges, pretty magnificent feats, and celebrations of Scottish engineering.”

Category: Design, Features, News
Tags: Buzzworks, Buzzworks Holdings, Jim Hamilton, Stephen Buchanan, Thirty Knots