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Park Hill Phase 2, Sheffield

Words:
RIBA Regional Jury

Mikhail Riches creates a modern energy-efficient environment softened with thoughtful planting and subtle colours in a heritage-conscious approach that nets Alim Saleh 2024 RIBA Yorkshire Project Architect of the Year

Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker

2024 RIBA Yorkshire Award
2024 RIBA Yorkshire Project Architect of the Year Alim Saleh

Park Hill Phase 2, Sheffield 
Mikhail Riches for Urban Splash and Places for People 
Contract value: £2m
GIA: 16,810 m2 
Cost per m2: £1,487

The project is part of the client’s ongoing regeneration of the Grade II* listed, brutalist, concrete-framed Park Hill estate which sits on a prominent hillside overlooking Sheffield city centre. This former social housing scheme, built by Sheffield City Council in the 1950s, is an iconic building in the city and Europe’s largest listed structure. The second phase of the regeneration has created 195 flats and 2,000m2 of commercial space. While preserving as much of the original structure and character as possible, it creates a modern, energy-efficient environment. The architect worked closely with heritage experts to devise a new colour palette to give flats identity while preserving key elements including the gridded appearance and the ‘streets in the sky’. Internally, flats have been combined and reconfigured into contemporary layouts, to provide generous open-plan spaces with balconies. Externally, new tree and wildflower planting helps to soften the building.

  • Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
    Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
  • Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
    Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
  • Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
    Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
  • Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
    Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
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The first phase of the project stripped the building back to its frame and used bright colours to create a distinctly modern appearance. In contrast, Phase 2 is a ‘lighter touch’, retaining more of the existing built fabric and employing more subtle colours to blend the complex into the landscape. These colours, referencing the nearby Peak District, are used on the balcony reveals and flat entrances. The local Pennine landscape is also reflected in the new planting around the complex, which combines with retained existing mature trees to create a biodiverse wildlife habitat on this previously grassed site.

With a brief to preserve as much of the original building as possible while making the flats more energy-efficient and flexible, the architect's close collaboration  with heritage experts used thermal imaging to identify problem areas and develop solutions. As the size and layout of the existing flats did not meet modern standards and ways of living, they have been reconfigured to provide generous open-plan living spaces, orientated to take advantage of the best views across the city. The result is a variety of different flat types and that creates a mixed community and a place where both first-time buyers and families can live, work, and play.

  • Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
    Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
  • Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
    Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
  • Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
    Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
  • Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
    Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
  • Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
    Park Hill Phase 2. Tim Crocker
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The jury was particularly impressed by the way the architect overcame the many challenges of the 1950s structure and delivered a project during the Covid-19 pandemic. Project architect Alim Saleh, who was involved in the scheme from the early competitions stages, has been awarded RIBA Yorkshire Project Architect of the Year. Through his commitment and understanding of the building and its context, he developed a design that celebrates city centre living and respects the character of this important listed building.

See the rest of the RIBA Yorkshire hereAnd all the RIBA Regional Awards here.

To see the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com.

RIBA Regional Awards 2024 sponsored by EH Smith and Autodesk

Credits

Contractor Urban Splash Construct
Structural engineer Civic Engineers
Environmental/M&E engineer Beechfield
Project management Broadfield Project Management
Landscape architect Austin-Smith:Lord
Principal designer Rawling Safety and Training Consultancy Services
Sustainability Greengauge Building Energy
Approved building inspector Salus
Fire engineer CHPK Fire Engineering

 

Credit: Mikhail Riches
Credit: Mikhail Riches
Credit: Mikhail Riches
Credit: Mikhail Riches
Credit: Mikhail Riches
Credit: Mikhail Riches

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