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Sheffield Hallam University will look bloomin' marvellous this winter thanks to a huge new magnolia flower-inspired structure in Hallam Square.

The 'Magnolia Gridshell' is a 10 metre wide and three metre high structure positioned outside Sheffield Hallam's main entrance in the city centre throughout November and December.

A gridshell is a structure which takes its strength from its double curvature and is constructed using a grid or lattice material. 

The Magnolia Gridshell was designed and constructed by architecture and architectural technology students from Sheffield Hallam University, in collaboration with Gabriel Tang, senior lecturer in architecture at Sheffield Hallam, and world leading structural designers Diederik Veendaal, Edyta Augustynowicz and Bernardino D'amico.

Gabriel Tang said: "The Magnolia Gridshell was inspired by the double curvatures of the beautiful magnolia flower, which I had seen during a recent visit to Wentworth Gardens. 

"This project has given our students a chance to work with world-leading experts and get hands-on practical learning away from the textbook, providing them with genuine applied skills which can be used in the workplace as they begin their careers." 

Magnolia Gridshell forms part of Sheffield Hallam's Catalyst Festival of Creativity, which is part of Sheffield's wider Year of Making. 

Architecture students with Magnolia Gridshell
Gabriel Tang with Magnolia Gridshell
Magnolia Gridshell during the build

Click to view the images

For press information: Please contact Martin Webb in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email

Notes to Editor
Catalyst Festival of Creativity, which is part of Sheffield's wider Year of Making, is taking place until November with 28 different creative projects over the course of eight months. You can find out more about Catalyst at