Huddersfield Gem
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||| Press Releases |||
  1. 29 March 2010
  2. 3 February 2009
  3. 1 October 2008
  4. 5 August 2008
  5. 9 June 2008
  6. 5 November 2007
  7. 18 October 2006
  8. 10 October 2006
  9. 3 July 2006
  10. 4 August 2005
  11. 28 October 2004
  12. 21 September 2004
  13. 30 August 2004
  14. 15 August 2004
  15. 10 July 2004
  16. 20 June 2004

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||| History of Queensgate Market |||
Christopher R Marsden

Constructed 1968-1970 to the designs of the J. Seymour Harris Partnership, Birmingham, with Leonard & Partners, consulting engineers and sculptures by Square One Design Studio.
6 April 1970 Queensgate Market Hall officially opened. The Huddersfield Daily Examiner editorial read: "Architecturally, the new Market Hall is one of the most interesting buildings to have been erected in Huddersfield for many years."
28 August 1975 Architectural critic, Ian Nairn, praised the market hall: "The one place where modern architecture has really thought about the inner Huddersfield is in the new market hall. The designer here had a really difficult problem. It was a sloping site in which he had to fit this market hall. Although the outside was a bit glam, he really went to work on the inside. The firm was J Seymour Harris who do a lot of town centre schemes up and down the country, and whoever was the designer in that firm really did Huddersfield proud here. To cope with the slope and to fit everything in he used concrete mushroom columns at intervals - mushroom because they splay out at the top and this could have been a structural gimmick; but here that are used to define spaces, to relate them, to bring the light in from the top so that you at one with the building itself. That combined with the fact that the stalls are not regimented has made it a marvellously human place, the opposite of most indoor shopping centres. It is in-fact, and this is pretty rare in Britain - a real modern market."
July 2003 Kirklees Metropolitan Council announced seven options to redevelop the Queensgate area. Some of these options involved demolishing Queensgate Market Hall and Huddersfield Library.
February 2004 The Twentieth Century Society applied for listing for the Huddersfield Library and Queensgate Market Hall.
20 June 2004 Huddersfield Gem was established to promote the market hall.
21 June 2004 The Twentieth Century Society published a list of very recent buildings it felt were threatened in some way. Up there along with airports, cinemas, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford and Battersea Power Station was Huddersfield Market Hall, the only building in Yorkshire to make the list.
6 September 2004 Heritage Minister Andrew McIntosh announced that he intended to list the market hall at grade II but as it is a post-war building there would be three months of public consultation. Note 4
18 November 2004 Professor Neil Jackson PhD FSA RIBA, Hoffman Wood Professor of Architectural Engineering, University of Leeds, in a report on the market hall commissioned by Kirklees Metropolitan Council: "On visiting it for the first time... it was immediately apparent to me that here was something special."
4 August 2005 David Lammy MP, Minister of Culture announced the listing of the market hall at grade II. He said, "Huddersfield's Queensgate Market is the best surviving example of a retail market from the 1960s and 1970s. It is an imaginative structure that combines innovative technology of its time to produce a dramatic space full of natural light with the striking focal point of the roof."
10 October 2006 Kirklees Council announced £200M plan to build a shopping centre and mall that would mean the demolition of 8 of the market hall's 21 roof shells to allow excavation for underground car parking.
2 November 2007 Queensgate Market Hall awarded the Concrete Society's Certificate of Excellence for a mature structure.

The society’s president announced that, "The 21 hyperbolic concrete shells of the Queensgate Market Hall in Huddersfield are iconic in their structural form.

"In many ways the method of construction was significant and the forerunner to several other structures.

"In the opinion of the judges, Queensgate Market Hall is a remarkable and splendid building in very good condition." Note 2
October 2008 In Acapulco, Mexico, the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures gave an enthusiastic reception to a talk on the design and engineering of the market. Note 3
February 2009 Queensgate Market was Building of the Month.

Notes for editors
  1. For more information, market hall photos and membership enquires for Huddersfield Gem please contact Christopher Marsden:
  2. The award is for structures over 25 years of age which have sustained the test of time and are judged worthy of recognition.
    The judging criteria were:
    • Function suitability
    • Visual appearance and harmony with its surroundings
    • Properties of concrete exploited in the design
    • Innovative use of concrete in composition, structure or form
    • Integration of structure and service
    • Value for money.
    The only other recipient of the award in 2007 is London Bridge.

    The judges were: Prof Peter Robery, President of the Concrete Society (chair of judges); Michael G T Dickson CBE BA MSc FREng FIStructE FICE HonFRIBA FRSA; President of the Institute of Structural Engineers 2005-6; Mr David Orr Senior Vice President of the Institution of Civil Engineers; Mr Martin Powell CEO, The Concrete Society; Mr Peter Goring BA MScEng CEng, Immediate Past President of the Concrete Society; Ms Ruth Slavin, Editor AJ Specification, Architects Journal and Mr Richard Saxon Senior Vice President, RIBA.
  3. Marsden, Christopher R: The engineering and construction of 21 asymmetric freestanding hyperbolic paraboloid umbrella concrete shells in Proceedings of the 2008 Symposium of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, Acapulco, Mexico, October 27-31; Editor, Salinas, Juan Gerado Oliva; IASS Madrid 2008.
  4. The conservation secretary of TACS (the Tile and Architectural Ceramics Society) is now Christopher Marsden, also co-ordinator of Huddersfield Gem.

Huddersfield Gem aims to study, promote and ensure the future of the Queensgate Market Hall and the Huddersfield Co-operative extension. Gem will work in partnership with other groups and organisations to identify the best options for the buildings and users.
Hypars at night from the ring road

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