Iconic new landmark unveiled on Sheffield skyline
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Motorists in Sheffield could have been forgiven for wondering what they could see in the sky above Sheffield yesterday as a giant panda sculpture was lifted into position – 97 metres above ground.
The sculpture - described as an ‘iconic new landmark’ for the city – is part of a wider art installation at New Era Square, the £66 million modern Asia-inspired development taking shape off St Mary’s Gate.
The panda, a symbol for friendship and peace in Chinese culture, has been mounted on the rooftop corner of New Era Square’s core office building, visible when approaching from the city centre or driving by on the ring road.
Christian Parnell, regional director of the scheme’s construction contractor Bowmer + Kirkland, which was given the task of hoisting the panda into place, said: “New Era Square has been a major project for us since we started on site in November 2015.
“I’d like to think that the entire project team, including our client, have become friends and it is fitting, therefore, that the final part of the scheme is to lift the panda, symbol of friendship, onto the roof of the building.”
The main panda, along with two smaller pandas – one clambering up the side of a pillar and one resting on a bench – is the creation of David Wei of Hatch Architects.
Rongmin Qin, New Era Developments executive director, said: “With New Era Square, our ambition has always been to deliver a true example of what modern Asia has to offer.
“Going far beyond the classic Chinatown experience in the UK, the development marries the excitement and dynamism of modern Asia with the best of Western culture.
“We also wanted to create something special for the city of Sheffield.
“Now more than ever, we are seeing the important role that open public spaces within our busy urban environment play in our mental health and wellbeing.
“We believe New Era Square and its bold art installations are truly unique in the UK and complement Sheffield’s creative personality perfectly.
“It’s an iconic new landmark for residents and visitors.”