The Piece Hall Transformation Project

Halifax, UK

The Piece Hall Transformation Project

Forward-thinking Calderdale Council wanted to reimagine the Grade I-listed Piece Hall and its external spaces into a landmark visitor destination. At the heart of this multi-award-winning mixed-use space, we have created a new public space for citizens to revel in outdoor concerts and events. The square has fast become a focal point for the town.

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The restoration of The Piece Hall in Halifax is one of the UK’s most significant and high-profile heritage projects. The multi-million-pound Piece Hall Transformation Project has sensitively restored the 238-year-old building into a landmark visitor destination, with heritage interpretation, three levels of shops, independent new start-ups, restaurants and businesses, as well as a re-imagined central courtyard and enhanced public realm.

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the historic building has been carefully conserved by LDN Architects and transformed into a multi-use commercial, cultural and heritage destination. At the heart of The Piece Hall is the central courtyard around which the building is orientated. The courtyard - which now hosts a year-round programme of events - has been restored and reinvented into an attractive, open and accessible ‘Town Square’, which meets modern accessibility and functional requirements whilst maintaining its historical integrity.

The courtyard re-imagining by Gillespies was undertaken in close consultation with Historic England and the Council’s conservation planners and required bespoke and creative solutions to integrate new pavement levels, materials, lighting and water features into the courtyard to create a large, usable central space for events. Hardscape supplied sandstone and granite paving, seating, and steps across the courtyard. The feature steps, fountains, bespoke furniture, and lighting contribute to the contemporary design language, which is sensitive and restrained, to enhance the classical building's impressive architectural features and materials. Two cascading water features have been introduced to the northwest and southeast corners, subtly interpreting the historical importance of water in cloth production and animate this space. Particular consideration has been given to the evening and night-time atmosphere through extensive lighting design. It is expected that the Piece Hall will continue to be enjoyed long after the sun goes down.

Gillespies also enhanced the public realm of three existing gateways and created a new gateway through the east wing of the Piece Hall, establishing a new link between the town centre, the railway station and the new Halifax Central Library; encouraging increased footfall through the Piece Hall courtyard.

The Piece Hall Transformation Project is a striking example of historically sensitive landscape restoration and reinvention that has secured the future of a nationally significant building. It has won several awards, including the Academy of Urbanism Great Place Award, RICS Yorkshire & Humber Award for Best Project; International Light Design Community and Public Realm Project of the Year, and RIBA Yorkshire Building of the Year Award.


  • 2017 The Historic England Angel Award - Best Rescue of a Historic Building
  • 2017 The Historic England Angel Award - UK Overall Winner
  • 2018 RIBA Yorkshire Building of the Year Award
  • 2018 RIBA Yorkshire Conservation Award
  • 2018 International Light Design Awards, Community and Public Realm Project of the Year
  • 2018 Halifax Civic Trust Award
  • 2018 RICS Yorkshire & Humber Award for Best Project Overall
  • 2018 RICS Yorkshire & Humber Award for Regeneration
  • 2018 Natural Stone Award
  • 2018 Landscape Institute Award - Heritage and Conservation - Highly Commended
  • 2022 The Academy of Urbanism Great Place award

Above: Tour de Yorkshire departure, at the Piece Hall, Halifax, copyright Bruce Fitzgerald, credit the Piece Hall Trust

Below: CGI from 2011 of the proposed changes