The Park Hill estate in Sheffield, completed in 1961 was initially famous for its radical vision: streets in the sky, spacious duplex apartments, wonderful views, district heating, modular construction systems.
This positive vision later became overshadowed and tarred by the disintegration of the estate’s public realm and the spread of anti-social behavior. The client team, Urban Splash, Sheffield Council and English Partnership invited us to work in collaboration with Hawkins Brown and Grant Associates to bring a little “romance” to this estate, focusing principally on making Park Hill a place that is reconnected to Sheffield and a destination in it’s own right.
The homes within the existing buildings needed particular attention to bring new life into what was perceived as poor quality housing. The building consists of a series of repeated clusters of homes arranged around the internal circulation of the duplex’s. This cluster was completely redesigned to offer a new mix of accommodation. A slight reduction in the width of the ‘street’ allows for the expansion of the homes at entry level, allowing the introduction of windows overlooking the street and new, much needed, storage inside the homes. Each apartment is designed to maximise the dual aspect nature with pocket doors that are held open to allow cross ventilation and a sense of light to permeate the homes.
The streets are re-modelled to move away from the linear ‘terraced’ layout of front doors to a cluster of flats accessed from smaller communal spaces set back from the communal path. This provides variation along the streets, both in form and lighting. Patterned floor tiles and tactile materials like stained plywood are used around the entrances, changing design at each cluster provides a personal design for each home and more domestic feel.
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