Giant Panda at New Era Square Rooftop

A giant panda sculpture was installed at New Era Square – the £66 million modern Asia-inspired development at St Mary’s Gate and Yorkshire’s newest public space.

Part of the site’s wider art installation, the largest panda, which is an impressive four metres high, has been mounted on the rooftop corner of New Era Square’s core office building.

Giant Panda in the air

The panda is a symbol for friendship and peace in Chinese culture, and the joyful display is now clearly visible to Sheffield’s public when approaching from the city centre or driving by on the ring road.


The scheme’s construction contractor, Bowmer + Kirkland, were given the delicate task of hoisting the panda, which weighs a whopping 1,350kg – about the same as a car – onto its new rooftop home. The panda’s final resting point is over 97 metres from the ground.

Bowmer + Kirkland’s Regional Director, Christian Parnell, commented:

“The New Era Square scheme 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. It has been a privilege to be involved with this development.”

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. A UK-qualified architect, Wei is renowned for producing visually inspiring art works for flagship Chinese developments.

Upon arriving in the UK last month, the panda was then fabricated by local Sheffield firm Campbell Design and Engineering Ltd.

Jerry Cheung and Rongmin Qin, Directors at New Era Development (UK) Ltd

Rongmin Qin, Executive Director at New Era Developments, 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 China Town 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 that New Era Square and its bold art installations is truly unique in the UK and complements Sheffield’s creative personality perfectly.

“It’s an iconic new landmark for residents and visitors.”

Finishing touches are currently being added to the square, which supports the long-term aim to better connect London Road with the City Centre. The development also features a mix of quality office space, apartments, contemporary restaurant and retail units, and an 83-space underground car park.

£66m Modern Asia-Inspired Quarter Nears Completion

Jerry Cheung

Construction work is nearing completion at Sheffield’s newest quarter – the £66 million modern Asia-inspired district at St Mary’s Gate.

The New Era Square development, which supports the long-term vision to better connect London Road and the City Centre, is aiming for a blend of quality office space, modern apartments, cosmopolitan restaurants, flexible retail space, and a landmark public square.

Finishing touches are currently being added to the square – set to be one of the most unique and stylish public spaces in the city. The 83-space underground car park has now opened at the site.

A family of large panda sculptures, which are to be installed on the roof and attached to the side of the building, have now arrived in the UK. The New Era panda sculptures, one the size of an SUV car, are being fabricated by local Sheffield firm Campbell Design & Engineering Ltd. They have been designed by architect David Wei, who is renowned for producing visually inspiring art works for flagship Chinese developments.

In addition to the pandas, a two-metre tall mirrored deer has also been installed at the building’s primary entrance – providing a striking welcome to visitors.

Jerry Cheung, Managing Director of New Era Developments, said: “We were marginally held up by coronavirus in spring but we’re now back on track and work is edging towards completion.

“Around 80% of the 649 apartments are already pre-let and we are in discussions with a number of commercial, retail and food & beverage operators about the opportunities we can offer them at New Era.”

OISOI, Sheffield’s hugely popular Asian restaurant brand, opened its latest venue, OISOI Gathering, overlooking the square in March. With the restaurant once again open and busy, they are currently exploring options for outdoor eating and drinking in the square.

Jerry, a successful businessman and influential member of Sheffield’s Chinese community, has also been working closely with the city’s two universities over the summer to ensure a safe and simple transition for Chinese students.

“We are anticipating the return of students in the coming weeks, which will be a boost for the local economy”, continued Jerry.

“We look forward to welcoming them to New Era Square. This new quarter in the heart of the city will marry the excitement and dynamism of modern Asia with the best of Western culture.”


OISOI Gathering New Era Square Sheffield

OISOI, Sheffield’s premier Asian restaurant brand, has opened its latest eatery at New Era Square – the emerging modern China-inspired district in the centre of Sheffield.

OISOI Gathering New Era Square Sheffield

The new venue, called OISOI Gathering, is situated on the firstfloor of the £66 million New Era development that is transforming St Mary’s Gate and overlooks the new public square, which is set to complete in May this year.

OISOI Gathering Cuisine New Era SquareOISOI Gathering opened its doors recently and offers an artisan Dim Sum lunch menu where each piece of Dim Sum is hand-made to order. An evening fusion menu includes OISOI’s signature Hong Kong dishes, along with newly presented Sichuan dishes and South East Asia curry dishes.

OISOI Gathering Cuisine New Era SquareThe new restaurant provides the same exceptional quality and service that customers are accustomed to at the OISOI Deli Food Market & The Bushi-Bushi Restaurant, on Arundel Street.

Jerry Cheung, Managing Director of New Era Developments, says OISOI Gathering has proved popular since opening its doors and expects it will become even busier as the scheme nears completion.

“We’re confident the New Era Square development will deliver something special for Sheffield and the wider city region. OISOI Gathering is our anchor food and beverage tenant and totally encapsulates the dynamism and energy of modern Asia that we’re seeking to represent.”

OISOI Gathering Cuisine New Era SquareJay Wang, owner of OISOI, explained the concept: “We’re extremely proud to open OISOI Gathering and to be a part of this pioneering development in the city. Sheffield diners are already familiar with OISOI’s mouth-watering dishes but this restaurant blends quality ingredients with a weekday price.

“Although just as stylish, the venue is undeniably more relaxed. With live music also planned, it’s a great place for people to socialise and unwind.”

New Era Square already features 686 student apartments, several private apartments, a Chinese supermarket and boutique Chinese retailers, including a hairdresser and authentic street food vendors.

When the development is completed in May, it will also include an 88-space underground car park, office block and public square with stunning art installations.

OISOI will provide free onsite parking facilities to the customers on completion.