QUEENSGATE MARKET

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1391505

Date first listed: 04-Aug-2005

Statutory Address: QUEENSGATE MARKET

Map

Ordnance survey map of QUEENSGATE MARKET
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Location

Statutory Address: QUEENSGATE MARKET

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Kirklees (Metropolitan Authority)

National Grid Reference: SE 14538 16360

Details



919/0/10061 HUDDERSFIELD 04-AUG-05 Queensgate Market

GV II

Market Hall. 1968-70 to the designs of the J. Seymour Harris Partnership, with Leonard and Partners as consultant engineers. Reinforced concrete, board-marked internally to columns and partly clad in local Elland Edge stone and ceramic panels, with patent glazing. Rectangular building on a site that slopes steeply downhill from the town centre to the west towards the ring road, Queensgate. The structure comprises 21 'mushroom' columns each supporting an asymmetrical rectangular section - each 56ft (17.07m) long by 31ft (9.45m) wide by 10ft (3.05m) deep - of board-marked hyperbolic paraboloid roof, four rows of four and one of five facing Queensgate, where the market is set over a delivery bay and car park. From north to south the rows alternate in height, and from west to east they step upwards, then down. This means that there are gaps of 4'6" (1.4m) between each roof section which is filled with patent glazing to form clerestoreys, the glazing suspended from the upper hypar to accommodate any movement which may occur and having aluminium bars. Further patent glazing over natural stone walling and expressed framework to facades on Princess and Peel Streets, whence there are direct entrances into the market hall from Peel Street via steps. Ventilation is by fixed louvres.

From Ramsden Street the two entrances to the market are through shopping arcades added between 1970-74. The façade of the market hall on Queensgate incorporates five roof sections with patent glazing and is decorated with square ceramic panels by Fritz Steller, entitled 'Articulation in Movement', set over natural stone cladding. These continue across the façade of the adjoining shops, to make nine panels in all, with a tenth larger panel added in 1972, pierced by stairs and an entrance to the market hall from Queensgate. They have representations of the mushroom shells of the market hall, turned through 90 degrees, with abstract representations of the goods available within.

The interior was designed for 187 market stalls and 27 shop units, available singly or in multiple units. In the centre, panopticon like, is a former restaurant at first-floor level, heavily glazed, reached via steps and used as market offices. It is not known if it in fact ever opened as a restaurant, admired though it was for its views across the town. The interior also incorporates a 1935 'Jubilee' K6 telephone kiosk to the designs of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. The shops and stall units themselves are not of particular interest save that they exhibit charismatic examples of c.1970 signage with their serif italic lettering. Along the north wall of the hall is a relief sculpture entitled 'Commerce', in black painted metal with semi-abstract figures representing agriculture, trade and products, by the sculptor Fritz Steller. The Yorkshire Coat of Arms from the old police station, built on the site in 1898 and demolished in 1967, is also incorporated into the new building.

The market hall forms part of a much larger redevelopment of central Huddersfield in the 1960s and 1970s, on land owned by the Corporation, first by Murrayfield and then by Jack Cotton and Charles Clore. The novel integration of structure and glazing, developed by Leonard and Partners and refined through tests at Southampton University, on one level defines the circulation pattern through the building, but it also offers a striking link, in modern form, with the Gothic style of the old market building (1876 by Edward Hughes) on an adjacent site that the present building replaced.

The novelty of Queensgate Market is that its roof is made up of hyperbolic paraboloid shells, mushroom columns in other words but deliberately asymmetrical and rectilinear ones. The Architect in September 1972 (p.95) described Huddersfield as 'the first retail market in Europe to be covered by a roof form of this type with vertical patent glazing'. As the land falls from west to east, the effect is particularly dramatic. Another feature of Huddersfield Market which sets it apart from other post-war market buildings is its incorporation of works of art. Fritz Steller was a German-born refugee architect who had settled in Stratford-upon-Avon. He pioneered the production of large scale ceramic art, having been interested in the use of a wide variety of materials in sculpture. The development company Murrayfield had a policy of incorporating public art into their schemes, and the project manager of J Seymour Harris, the architects for the Huddersfield development, was Gwyn Roberts, a friend of Steller. One of the Borough Councillors at Huddersfield was Clifford Stephenson, an enthusiast for public art and particularly for modern ceramic sculpture. This combination led to the appointment of Steller to produce designs for the new Market Hall. The size of the panels necessitated the construction of a special kiln for their firing, and experimental mixes for the composition of the clay which was resistant to acid rain and chemicals. The difficulty and expense of the production and fixing methods for the panels led to the development by Steller of a new method of ceramic cladding of buildings, called Transform. Steller produced a number of ceramic and other artworks in the period 1969 to 1975, including a commission for the Roman Catholic cathedral in Portsmouth, the interior of the Trustee Savings Bank in Wigan (both now gone) and various private commissions. However, very little of his work survives, and Queensgate Market remains the largest and best of his sculptures.

The attached shops, mostly built 1970-4, are not of special interest.

SOURCES: - Oliver Marriott, The Property Boom, London, Hamish Hamilton, 1967, pp.124-30 - Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 6 April 1970 - Building, vol.223, no.6749, 29 September 1972, p.82 - The Architect, vol.2, no.9, September 1972, p.95 - Glass Age, vol.15, no.4, November 1972 - Christopher Marsden, Journal of the Tiles & Architectural Ceramics Society, Vol 13, 2007, pp.3-14 - English Heritage, Commercial and Industrial Buildings, 1993-4, unpub survey

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION The Queensgate Market Hall, Huddersfield, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * It shows innovative use of cutting edge technology in its application of freestanding asymmetric hyperbolic paraboloid shells in its construction * Its patent glazing method is both technically innovative and visually pleasing * It incorporates very high quality decorative ceramic sculptures by a noted sculptor, Fritz Steller, both externally and internally * The sculpted ceramic and metal artworks are integrated into the overall design and form what may be the largest ceramic sculpture in the world * The design is imaginative and intelligent, making full use of the site and creating a visually pleasing structure with a dramatic roofscape

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 492030

Legacy System: LBS

Sources

Books and journals
Marriott, O, The Property Boom, (1967), 124-130
'Glass Age' in 15, no.4, November, (1972)
'Building' in 29 September, , Vol. 223, (1972), 82
'Journal of the Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society' in Journal of the Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society: Volume 13, (2007), 3-14
'Huddersfield Daily Examiner' in 6 April, (1970)
'The Architect' in 2, no. 9, September, (1972), 95

End of official listing