Tuesday 21 December 2010

August 2010: Park Hill Estate, Sheffield.

A long drive north was well worth the opportunity to photograph the redevelopment of the now famous Park Hill Estate in Sheffield for a feature in Building Magazine. Built in the ’60’s and heavily inspired by Le Corbusiers ‘Unité d’ Habitation’ it featured such innovations as “streets in the sky” large walkways intended to replicate the community feel of streets on the ground.
What was a roaring success when it was first built become a haven of social problems by the 1980’s leaving many wanting the place demolished. Despite this the buildings were given grade 2 listed status and now form the largest listed building in Europe.
Currently in the process of redevelopment by Urban Splash with Hawkins Brown as the main architects the estate forms an interesting place to photograph. Split into three distinct phases it shows great contrast. The bright modern redevelopment with it’s multicoloured facades, the totally deserted and derelict part awaiting redevelopment and on the far side the beautifully kept and still lived in part which shows how it was originally intended to be. Parts of the estate were also used as locations for scenes in the recent Shane Meadows TV drama This is England ’86.

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