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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 042 - Creating a successful civic space

042 - Sheffield Peace Gardens and Millennium Square

Civic squares and gardens located at the heart of Sheffield city centre provide a successful setting for investment, a green haven for people of all ages and a symbol of the city’s renaissance.

Built on the site of an anonymous municipal garden and the 1970s era Town Hall Extension, the Peace Gardens and Millennium Square have been recast as a popular and thriving destination surrounded by a lively mix of uses. These include the old Town Hall, the new Lottery-funded Winter Gardens Millennium Galleries, the 5-star St Paul’s Hotel, a 32 storey apartment tower and two new Class A office buildings.

The largely in-house design team drew on a comprehensive public consultation exercise to create a hard-paved café terrace and busy through routes alongside lush English gardens incorporating cascades, rills, seating, lawns and perennial planting. The space is set around 1.5m below street level thus adding to the area’s haven-like character. The change in level also aids both acoustic and visual separation from the surrounding roads.

Artists were commissioned to produce works to form an integral part of the gardens and echo Sheffield’s natural setting and heritage of industry and craft. These features of stone, metal and ceramic, along with specially commissioned street furniture, provide people of all ages and backgrounds with places for congregation, play or quiet reflection and tell the city’s story. The Peace Gardens and Millennium Square form part of Sheffield’s Gold Route. This comprises a sequence of new urban spaces and high-quality development which have brought about a transformational change to the city centre and the image of Sheffield.

Other Information

  • Location: Sheffield
  • Project Team: Sheffield City Council. Developer - Tilbury Douglas Construction Ltd - Management. Masterplanner - Sheffield City Council. Architect - Sheffield city Council, City Development Division in collaboration with Sheffield design and project management
  • Contact:


UDC2 Section - Integrated Design 

Art installation 'Rain' by Colin Rose linking Millennium Square and the Peace Gardens 

Images (image bank)