Park Hill - Sheffield - United Kingdom
Park Hill was originally designed by Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith in 1961, at the zenith of the postwar social housing era. The building snakes across the landscape, its robust construction and brutalist form evocative of Le Corbusier’s mass housing projects.
The shallow blocks created over 1000 dual aspect apartments, increasing both light and ventilation to the interiors. By 1998, the building complex had fallen into significant disrepair, and this occurred despite its status as Europe’s largest grade II listed building.
In 2004 a competition was announced to determine its future, eventually won by the architects Hawkins Brown and developer Urban Splash. The architects determined that the modernist grid was the true identity of the project and this should be retained.
The building was stripped to its modernist superstructure, which became the frame for the architects to infill.
The architects added a new thermally efficient façade, created additional floor area by extending the apartments into the “streets in the sky“ and introduced a new mixed use program alongside the social housing to invigorate the complex.
The design team also focused on the public realm around the building, by providing public functions at ground level as well as completing a new public landscape for the residents and visitors alike.
[project selected by Tomás Prendeville]