Report - - Park Hill Flats, Sheffield , Feb. 2014. | High Stuff | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Park Hill Flats, Sheffield , Feb. 2014.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
this is my first report so i hope i get everything as per the faq's.

coming from sheffield this is a site that i've grown up with as an icon of the skyline. i have always been fascinated by the structure and the atmosphere of the place. i made a couple of trips here and had planned to access it in a totally different way. when i found my eventual route it was really quite obvious if not a bit on the dangerous side but anyway all went smoothly. i've made a couple of trips to the roof and have a few picture to share with this report. not only new to posting reports here but also new to photography and learning how to get the best out of my camera (a sony mirrorless) so although the shots aren't up to the standard of other members i hope they are ok.

the history has been covered here before but this is a copy and paste of it below

Park Hill was previously the site of back-to-back housing, a mixture of 2-3 storey tenement buildings, waste ground, quarries and steep alleways. Facilities were poor with one standpipe supporting up to 100 people. It was colloquially known as "Little Chicago" in the 1930s, due to the incidence of violent crime there. Clearance of the area began during the 1930s but was halted due to World War II.
Following the war it was decided that a radical scheme needed to be introduced to deal with rehousing the Park Hill community. To that end architects Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith began work in 1945 designing the Park Hill Flats. Inspired by Le Corbusier's Unité d'Habitation and the Smithsons' unbuilt schemes, most notably for Golden Lane in London, the deck access scheme, was viewed as revolutionary at the time. Construction is of an exposed concrete frame with yellow, orange and red brick curtain walling. The style is known as brutalism. However, as a result of weathering and soot-staining from passing trains, few people realise this and assume the building to be constructed entirely from concrete.
The concept of the flats was described as streets in the sky. Broad decks, wide enough for milk floats, had large numbers of front doors opening onto them. Each deck of the structure, except the top one, has direct access to ground level at some point on the sloping site. The site also allows the roofline to remain level despite the building varying between four and thirteen stories in height. The scheme also incorporates a shopping precinct and a primary school.

Construction began in 1957. Park Hill (Part One) was officially opened by Hugh Gaitskell, MP and Leader of the Opposition, on 16 June 1961.The City Council published a brochure on the scheme which was in several languages, including Russian.

To maintain a strong sense of community, neighbours were re-homed next door to each other and old street names from the area were re-used (e.g. Gilbert Row, Long Henry Row).Cobbles from the terraced streets surrounded the flats and paved the pathways down the hill to Sheffield station and tramlines.

Despite the problems, the complex remains structurally sound, unlike many of the system built blocks of the era, and controversially was Grade II listed in 1998 making it the largest listed building in Europe. Sheffield City Council hoped this would attract investment to renovate the building, but this was not initially forthcoming. The decision to list the estate was controversial at the time and it continues to attract criticism.
A part-privatisation scheme by the developer Urban Splash in partnership with English Heritage to turn the flats into upmarket apartments, business units and social housing is now under way. Two blocks (including the North Block - the tallest part of the buildings) have been cleared, leaving only their concrete shell.

really enjoyed this place but really have to make a return at some point to see what lays benth. thanks for looking.








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