Culture and heritage
Product / system supply
North East England
Gillespie landscape architects
Forest Pennant sandstone, Yorkstone setts, Portuguese granite, Carlow Irish blue limestone
Built in 1779 and originally used to support the trading of pieces of cloth, the Piece Hall is a Grade 1 listed building in Halifax.
A £19 million conservation scheme, supported by Calderdale Council and a number of key conservation and heritage foundations, has transformed the building and revived it as a cultural, commercial and civic centre. The redesign also includes three levels of shops, independent start-ups, restaurants and businesses.
Hardscape was tasked with transforming the courtyard to create a contemporary and flexible space that could host a seasonal programme of events and festivals whilst also being an attractive, open and accessible central square for both residents and visitors.
As the project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, materials needed to be sourced from within Europe and be of a style, colour, texture and finish that would be sympathetic to the original design of the main building.
Hardscape provided a range of premium landscaping products to enhance the setting of the eighteenth century building. This included six bespoke water features and more than forty granite and timber benches, which would feature atmospheric lighting.
Hardscape supplied 5,500 square metres of locally sourced, high quality Yorkstone (Forest Pennant sandstone) as paving for the central courtyard. This tied in perfectly with the original eighteenth century design. Hardscape also supplied Yorkstone setts in two formats, the first being 100mm cubes, and also in 150mm wide setts with hand chipped edges to give the appearance of a traditional tumbled sett.
A blend of four Portuguese granites and Carlow Irish Blue limestone was used for setts in the areas surrounding the water features. Portuguese Alpendurada granite steps were also installed around the central square to provide a frame for the Yorkstone paving, leading up to the main building.
The Piece Hall’s new look was revealed at a grand opening ceremony in August 2017. Over more than 22,000 people attended the event and the feedback was resoundingly positive.
Managing Director at Hardscape, Mathew Haslam, said: “The regeneration of The Piece Hall provides a new shared space to bring the local community together and we hope the new courtyard will continue to inspire this spirit of collaboration for years to come. The final result is breath-taking and we are proud to have been involved in preserving such an iconic treasure of British heritage.”