The Moor was traditionally one of Sheffield City Centre’s key shopping areas, but like so many high streets across the country, store closures had a detrimental impact on the retail area, located south west of Sheffield City Centre. To revitalise the area, Sheffield Council proposed a retail-led regeneration scheme, with direct links to the City Centre through the creation of pleasant and safe pedestrian routes and points of transport access. This was made possible through a forward-thinking partnership between Scottish Widows Investment Property Partnership Trust (SWIPPT), now part of Aberdeen Asset Management, and Sheffield City Council (SCC), with Leslie Jones Architecture leading the masterplan to recreate and revitalise the area.
Following the brief to create a new iconic shopping destination that delivers a positive impact on the local community and city skyline, the dramatic brass-clad arched structure was designed which incorporates a glazed entrance facade and striking internal timber structure establishing the market in the streetscape of The Moor.
Engineered timber is used to dramatic effect, particularly at the entrance, where an impressive gridshell structure welcomes visitors. Internally, the design team worked closely with management and traders at the previous dilapidated Castlegate Market to ensure the maximum area was available for the display of goods. Echoing the theatre of markets seen elsewhere across Europe, Glulam timber was used in the innovative entrance structure, while the main market roof and supporting ‘tree’ columns were arranged in diagonal grids to maximise space and draw footfall through the longest axis of the market. The market’s design is juxtaposed with the modern, rectangular design of the fronting retail units, which complement the white Portland Stone cladding of the existing buildings on The Moor.
Sympathetic to the existing urban fabric, The Moor now successfully competes with out-of-town schemes to draw from a wider catchment and Sheffield has begun to regain its place as a major regional shopping destination.
Working on the constricted inner city site presented challenges. To minimise deliveries and disruption to the area and to maximise speed of build, offsite construction methods were fully utilised. A detailed logistics plan had to be developed prior to the start of the contract design, as the restricted site had an impact on the length of the structural members.
A glulam and steel hybrid structure was designed for the undercover market area with exposed tree columns and roof lights to gain natural daylight. The glulam beams, complete with resin embedded steel rods were manufactured offsite and brought to site for rapid connection. Embedded rod connections were used to enhance visual impact at the steel nodes. BIM modelling ensured the individual elements of the hybrid structure could be installed both accurately and efficiently.
Images: BK Structures