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Report - Park Hill Flats - Sheffield - July 2014

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by WildBoyz, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Park Hill is a former inner city council housing estate and was developed by architects Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith in 1945. The concrete monolith was later constructed between 1957 and 1961, in response to large-scale social housing problems which were further augmented as a result of World War II. The concept for the flats was based on the revolutionary modernist architectural movement known as ‘Brutalism’; a method that was favoured by the government and local authorities owing to the very large concrete and fortress-like design that communicates functionality, materiality and measures as a symbol of strength. Nonetheless, the Park Hill development was also designed with ‘community spirit’ as a central focus, therefore, former neighbours were re-homed together along decks which were renamed after the old street names of the terraced site that once existed there up until the 1930’s. This concept derives from another architectural style known as ‘streets in the sky’, a method that originated to replace streets of dilapidated terraced housing. It was envisioned that the residents living within the utopian structure could live their day-to-day lives without ever having to touch the floor or, at the very least, leave the premises because the underlying idea sought to provide everything on-site, including: a shopping precinct, a primary school and nursery, several pubs, recreational green spaces and even decks wide enough to allow floats to drive within the structure. Likewise, the structure was intentionally designed with a panopticon-style strategy, a common method assumed by many high security prisons, as the initiative deliberately ensures that people are unable to discern when they are being watched – whether this be by a guard or others in a social setting. In practice, people are known to effectively and continuously control their own behaviours, insofar that the ‘community spirit’ is able to manage social behaviour efficiently.

    For many years Park Hill flourished as a strong community and many former residents continue to feel a certain affection towards the flats, as they afford reminders of nostalgic and sentimental pasts. Yet, it is widely reported that life and the ‘community spirit’ gradually deteriorated within the flats as resident security weakened and anti-social behaviour progressively escalated, to the extent that the entire estate decayed; both physically and socially. It is rumoured that the Park Hill estate ultimately adopted the nickname ‘San Quentin’ – an infamous American jail. Subsequently, the council found it increasingly difficult to find tenants for the flats that were becoming ever more vacant. By the 1980’s large-scale unemployment transpired as the City’s famous steel industry collapsed, and Park Hill crumpled with it. One by one, pubs were rapidly boarded up, burned out cars and graffiti became commonplace, muggings along the many alleys increased considerably, drug problems escalated and there were even rumours of air rifle snipers shooting residents and their children in the primary school playground.

    Since then, the post-war communities have disappeared and there are only around twelve of the original flats that remain occupied. Yet, despite the desertion, in 1998 Park Hall was registered as a grade II listed building and since then, in 2013, a company named Urban Splash has worked closely with English Heritage to renovate the flats, transforming them into contemporary residential apartments. Development work remains ongoing…

    As the history indicates, Park Hill is a notorious location in Sheffield, and since we made it our task to try and cover Sheffield’s traditional and noteworthy sites, we felt that Park Hill deserved to be included. After initially scouting it out months ago, with the good intention of returning, we only just got round to revisiting. As anticipated, the site was unnervingly uninhabited and silent. As we walked through the unwelcoming structure many sounds of banging doors and windows from within the flats could be heard, and only the trees made steady groans in the night’s vexed breath. It was almost as though the troubles, disorder and social chaos has forever scarred the site, tarring it with an everlasting notion that every shadow, alleyway and darkened flat houses something terrible; a reminder of the lasting impact of human madness, corruption and immorality.

    1: Flats Near Park Hill (From Stairwell)

    DSC_0568a_zps7ec8d71a.jpg

    2: Abandoned Deck/Walkway

    DSC_05722_zpsedd3fd33.jpg

    3: Abandoned Lift and Stair Access Point

    DSC_0575a_zps85fc4ca6.jpg

    4: Inside a Flat's Kitchen

    DSC_0579-2_zpse07ad099.jpg

    5: Inside a Flat's Bathroom

    DSC_0582a_zpsdc2b329c.jpg

    6: Sheffield's Night Time Sky

    DSC_0590_zps6549b03d.jpg

    7: The Park Hill Estate at Night

    DSC_05912_zpse6220ab0.jpg

    8: Park Hill Flats - St. Paul's Tower on the Horizon

    DSC_0593_zps94e07a5c.jpg

    9: The City of Sheffield Beyond Park Hill

    DSC_0595a_zps4977710d.jpg

    10: Urban Splash's New Development

    DSC_0596a_zpsf54b1ad8.jpg

    11: The City of Sheffield

    DSC_0597a_zps8ebedb74.jpg

    12: Late Night/Early Morning Shot

    DSC_0600_zps512ebcb3.jpg

    13: Across the Rooftop

    DSC_0605-2_zps36a93e09.jpg
     

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  2. tablets

    tablets 28DL Regular User
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    Nice one, I seen that they have put scaff up ready to make a start on the next round of development now. :thumb
     
  3. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Haha, yeah. That's been up for a little while now I think.
     
  4. Jidell

    Jidell 28DL Full Member
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    Great pics again pal, the ones of the view are fantastic :)
     
  5. Marsden1002

    Marsden1002 Love it!
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    Did you not venture into the basement bit?
     
  6. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Cheers mate :)
     
  7. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Yeah, briefly. But the camera died 10 mins before we found it :(
     
  8. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Yeah, the rooftop is the best bit. It was the same inside some of the flats, all the pipes and wiring have been torn out. Lots of live stuff going through that site too. :crazy
     
  9. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Nice ones mate :thumb

    As i"d been away i didn"t realise you"d just been in when i was Texting ya from outside here DOH!
     
  10. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Lol, passing ships mate :p
     
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