With its distinctive grey facade of aluminium plates, Sheffield’s ‘Cheese-grater’ is the architectural equivalent of Marmite - residents either love it or hate it.
And now Charles Street car park - which has divided opinion since its opening in the city centre in 2008 - is in the running to be crowned the coolest of its kind.
The building, designed by London firm Allies and Morrison on the site of the old Yorkshire Grey pub, has made the top 10 in the shortlist for the World’s Coolest Car Park award.
But it faces stiff competition for parking lots in Miami, Melbourne and Vancouver in the bid to be named overall winner of the competition, run by FX Magazine and website Stress Free Airport Parking.
A judging panel made up of magazine editors, website bosses and architecture experts is due to make its decision this month.
Dave Greenbrown, founder of Stress Free Car Parking and a judge, said: “Charles Street in Sheffield is a worthy finalist which, at first glance, many will think is a chic contemporary apartment block, not a car park.”
Judge Jamie Mitchell, assistant editor of FX Magazine, said: “Many people think of car parks as functional concrete blocks or as something so dull and utilitarian that they need to be hidden underground.
“In fact, some of the world’s greatest architects, from Zaha Hadid to Herzog and de Meuron, have designed them.
“I haven’t been surprised by the high standard of design evident in the contenders for this competition, but I have been impressed.
“The final list of 10, which comprises car parks from around the world – from Sheffield and Birmingham to Detroit and Vancouver – represents some of the most ingenious and carefully-considered architecture out there.
“Choosing a winner is going to be a tough but enjoyable task.”
The 550-space multi-storey ‘cheese grater’ is covered with panels angled in different directions, which gives it a unique look some have compared to the humble piece of kitchenware.
Operated by Q-Park, it is visible across the city and has become a staple of Sheffield’s city centre landscape.