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The Moor Market

Project Title: The Moor Market, Sheffield

Client: Sheffield City Council

Architect: Leslie Jones Architecture

Structural Engineer: Sanderson Watts Associates

Main contractor: Bowmer & Kirkland

Wood supplier: Prowood

Timber Weave Panels: BCL Timber Projects Ltd

Glulaminated Timber Structure: Bowmer & Kirkland Structures

Supply of Gustafs panels system: LSA Projects Ltd

Project Description:

Leslie Jones was inspired by both the simplicity of traditional British market halls and the structural expression of their contemporary European equivalents to create a dynamic, modern setting for The Moor Market in Sheffield.

The 73,000 sq ft building needed to be a new landmark for the city centre in order to act as a catalyst for future regeneration of Sheffield’s retail and leisure offering. To achieve this, timber was identified early on as a traditional material to bring the cherished ‘market feel’ to the new building, while the juxtaposition of modern materials such as brass brings it into the 21st Century.

Glulam timber was chosen for both the geodesic entrance arch and main market hall roof structures due to its sustainable credentials and light weight. Moreover, it provides a feeling of warmth and quality to the interior of the market. This also helped to reduce costs by eliminating the requirement for additional finishes, ensuring The Moor Market could be delivered within the client, Sheffield City Council’s, £18 million budget.

The desire to create an exciting entrance space and maximise space for stallholders drove the design of the single span entrance structure.

Clear internal space is also maximised through the use of ‘tree’ columns to provide 10 metre spans to the main hall. This ensures the market remains functional for traders and shoppers, while creating an exciting space for the theatre of market to unfold. The specialist design and delivery of the timber structure was carried out by Bowmer & Kirkland Structures.

Gustaf’s Gemini ‘Sandy Maple’ Panel System was chosen for the ceiling of the main market hall to maximise natural light and tone with the glulam structure. This is the largest application of this product in the UK to date. The panels also provide acoustic attenuation and are designed to facilitate the correct operation of the smoke detection and sprinkler systems. The panels are all fully removable to provide safe and easy access to services located within the ceiling void.

The bespoke ‘timber weave’ external cladding system was originally developed as a means to provide ventilation to the market hall. Although the ventilation function was eventually relocated elsewhere, the panels were retained to provide texture and variety to the mainly solid façades of the new building. The unique system, developed by Leslie Jones with BCL Timber, was fabricated off-site in panels that were then fixed to aluminium cladding rails to form a rainscreen.

Overall, the architectural expression of the building, both internally and externally, is characterised by robustness appropriate to its market function. The timber products and innovative construction techniques used help to add excitement and variety to this age-old building typology, now revitalised for the 21st Century.

The Moor Market has proven to be hugely successful for Sheffield, increasing footfall on The Moor by a third in its first full month of trading and sparking further private investment in the area.

The Moor has been incredibly well received by both the client and the public.

Julie Doyle, Leader of Sheffield City Council said: “We were determined for the building’s design to make a statement, so its marvellous how it echoes the Winter Gardens, which played a vital part in the heart of the City regeneration.”