It’s finally here – Bradford’s City Park is officially opening this weekend.

To celebrate, we have published a special supplement in today's (Friday's) T&A, and have set up a dedicated section on our website which you can follow the links to here.

It features new features, archived news reports, and videos tracking the development and construction of the iconic attraction.

The city centre facility built around a unique water feature has been nine years in the making – ever since architect Will Alsop unveiled his masterplan for the district in 2003. And it nearly never happened at all when a funding bid failed five years ago.

But now Bradford city centre has been transformed to create a whole new landscape of fountains, trees and green spaces.

The centrepiece of City Park is the Mirror Pool which can be filled with water but also drained and used for public events. The mirror pool is a 4,000sq m shallow body of water (around 22cm or 8in at its deepest point) and sloping gradually to the edge which reflects and showcases the Grade I-listed City Hall.

Within the MirrorPool there are more than 100 fountains of varying styles, including the central fountain which can reach more than 30m (100ft), the tallest in any UK city. In the smallest pool are 40 low-level fountains which create a fun children’s play area.

The fountains are programmed to change the appearance of the park throughout the day so one day is never the same as the next. The pool is made of hard-wearing granite cubes with a tactile paving strip around the edge to differentiate between the pool area and the plaza. It is durable for use in events when dry and a non-slip surface when wet. Other high-quality materials like porphyry tiles (matching the setts used in the city centre as part of the Heritage Streets project), stainless steel and hardwood timber have also been used throughout the park.

The Pavilion is the stone-clad building to the south-west of the Mirror Pool. It features a sloping grassed roof for use as a viewing platform across the pool towards City Hall. Inside the Pavilion are public toilets, offices for on-site staff and space for commercial use. Underneath the Pavilion is the control room and water storage tank for the mirror pool and fountains.

At the rear of City Hall is Norfolk Gardens, in the south-east corner of City Park next to Hall Ings. This pre-existing green space has been fully landscaped with new herbaceous planting, the installation of a new bus canopy and improvements made to sight lines to make the area more open and accessible. This was achieved in part by the removal of an under-used concrete footbridge across Hall Ings.

Opposite the Centenary Square building are sculptures by award-winning artist Wolfgang Buttress. The three sculptures, all cast from reconstituted stone, measure up to 2.5m (8ft) in height and 4m (13ft) in length and weigh between 1.5 and 15 tonnes. The artist designed the sculptures to “complement the City Park landscape and the Mirror Pool and make a real connection with people”.

Buttress also designed the ten lighting columns, measuring 17m (55ft) in height, around the mirror pool. The galvanised steel columns have been designed to look like stylised reeds and rushes sitting at the edge of the mirror pool. They illuminate causeways and paths around the water’s edge and the mirror pool itself.