J. Seymour Harris Partnership
Market Hall. 1968-70 to the designs of the J. Seymour Harris Partnership, with Leonard and Partners as consultant engineers
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.
Listed grade II