The Winter Gardens was designed by Pringle Richards Sharratt in 2003 and is one of the largest temperate glasshouses to have been built in the UK during the last hundred years, and the largest urban glasshouse in Europe. 

In November 2007, it beat London's South Bank to gain the Royal Institute of British Architects' Academy of Urbanism "Great Place" Award, as an "outstanding example of how cities can be improved, to make urban spaces as attractive and accessible as possible".