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Transformational restoration of the Piece Hall in Halifax by LDN Architects

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The 230-year-old, Grade I-listed structure reopened earlier this month, creating a 1.7 acre public square with new cascading water features

The Classical revival structure was built in 1779 as a series of 315 rooms arranged in three storeys around a central open courtyard – two upper colonnades on a rusticated base – which was designed to be used for selling ‘pieces’ of woollen cloth produced on handlooms. It is the last survivor of a building type which was once characteristic of the Yorkshire textile towns.

Piece Hall’s use as a cloth hall declined during the Industrial Revolution and in the late 1860s it was converted to a wholesale market and operated as such until the 1970s. When this closed, it was saved from demolition by being redeveloped with shops and an art gallery. 

Now, its complete restoration by LDN Architects, a Heritage Lottery-funded project led by Calderdale council, has adapted the building to form a major heritage destination and new ’town square’: a cultural and community focus for Halifax and the entire borough.

LDN’s work importantly includes a new gateway and improved connections with the wider regeneration of Halifax town centre, which includes the Orangebox, the new Central Library and Archive, the Cornerstone project at Square Chapel, and the reopening of the Industrial Museum.

The piece hall colannades. credit paul white.

The piece hall colannades. credit paul white.

Source: Paul White

Architect’s view

The reopening of the Piece Hall is an opportunity for the people of Halifax to reclaim a much-loved building. It creates a very special sense of place and identity that helps us define where we came from and who we are, and influences our community and cultural life. It is also a catalyst for the regeneration of Halifax town centre as a whole.

LDN is best known for its creative approach to conservation complemented with elegant contemporary design which recognises that history must be made in the 21st century as well as respected. Virtually all our commissions relate to sensitive, culturally significant buildings, monuments and places. LDN and the other design team members are also responsible for the design of the new Halifax Central Library adjacent to the Piece Hall. 

Mark Hopton, lead architect, LDN Architects

01 ldn architects piece hall rustic 1st floor plan copy

01 ldn architects piece hall rustic 1st floor plan copy

Source: LDN Architects

First floor plan

Project data

Start on site October 2014
Completion August 2017
Gross internal floor area 4,310m²
Form of contract NEC3: Engineering and Construction Contract Option B: priced contract with bill of quantities
Architect LDN Architects, Edinburgh
Client Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council
Structural engineer Buro Happold
M&E consultantBuro Happold
Quantity surveyor Gleeds
Landscape architect Gillespies
Exhibition designer Campbell & Co
Project manager Turner & Townsend
CDM coordinator/principal designer Gleeds acting as advisor to LDN Architects
Approved building inspector Hickton
Main contractor Graham Construction
CAD software used ARCHICAD (LDN Architects), AutoCAD & Revit (Buro Happold)

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