IT has been described as “an architectural wonder”.
Others have criticised it, both as a replacement for a Gothic-style Victorian building and as a modern day shopping experience.
But Queensgate Market Hall has survived and is now about to celebrate its 40th birthday.
Four decades after its opening, later the unique Queensgate Market Hall, with its 187 market stalls and 27 shops, still remains popular with shoppers.
In 2003, the future of the market was threatened by redevelopment plans that could have seen it demolished.
But the iconic building was saved and listed grade II in 2005.
A community group, Huddersfield Gem, was set up to ensure the future of the Princess Alexandra Walk market hall.
Huddersfield Gem co-founder, Adrian Evans, who is an architect and senior lecturer at Huddersfield University, said: “Queensgate Market was designed and built with confidence using a spectacular combination of architecture, engineering and art.
“It has served the town well and has been our own architectural gem.
“It is an exemplar of retail design. It is credit to the designers, builders and engineers that their work was listed after just 35 years.”
The huge soot-stained former Market Hall towered over King Street and The Shambles for many, many years.
But the former Huddersfield Borough Council decided in the 1960s that it had to go and commissioned a replacement.
Building began on Queensgate market in 1968 and it was officially opened on April 6, 1970.
The old 1880 Gothic Huddersfield Market Hall had to be demolished to make way for the daring J Seymour Harris Partnership and Leonard and Partners design.
The building is immediately recognisable by its distinctive roof – 21 white freestanding ‘hyperbolic paraboloid’ shells that allow light to flood into the market hall below.
Inside, the roof sections of the hall appear to float above the ceiling.
And on the outside, the exterior wall seen from the ring road features abstract art panels.
Adrian said: “At the time of its design, Queensgate Market drew on truly international design creativity, thinking and expertise.
“Today, 40 years on, it remains a work of international standing and importance.
“It is a time that the unique qualities and community value of the building are recognised and due care be given to ensure that it is preserved and developed sensitively.
“Now it is 40, it is time for us to share its delights and potential with others.”
Huddersfield Gem is offering free tours of the market hall in support of Kirklees Council’s Queensgate Market birthday plans.
On April 6, there will also be a tea party at the market with the mayor of Kirklees, Julie Stewart-Turner.
Free tours of Queensgate Market, including areas usually closed to the public, are on Saturday, April 10 at 10am, 12pm and 2pm.
Call Katie Faiers on 01484 223730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Queensgate Market history
March, 1967: Demolition started to prepare the site for the new market hall.
March, 1968: Construction work started.
April 2,1970: Queensgate Market opened for the first day of trading.
April 6, 1970: Queensgate Market Hall officially opened. The Huddersfield Daily Examiner said: "Architecturally, the new Market Hall is one of the most interesting buildings to have been erected in Huddersfield for many years."
July, 2003: Kirklees Council announced seven options to redevelop the Queensgate area. Some of these options involved demolishing Queensgate Market Hall and Huddersfield Library.
February, 2004: The Twentieth Century Society applied for listing of Queensgate Market Hall.
June 20, 2004: Huddersfield Gem was established to promote the market hall.
October 10, 2006: Kirklees Council announced £200m plan to build a shopping centre and mall that would mean the demolition of 8 of the market hall’s 21 roof shells to allow excavation for underground car parking.
November 2, 2007: Awarded the Concrete Society’s Certificate of Excellence for a mature structure.