Sheffield Architecture firm wins award for redevelopment design at Park Hill Estate

5 May 2022

A Sheffield-based architecture firm has won an award for their redevelopment work on the Park Hill estate at Beton House.

Whittam Cox Architects won the ‘listed building over £5m’ category at the Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards last Tuesday.

Nick Riley, Board Director at Whittam Cox Architects, said: “Winning this design award is a testament to the hard work and commitment from everybody involved in delivering this incredibly special and unique project.

“Our approach to the design was about being authentic and respectful to the structure and facades. We felt it was important to retain, repair and reinstate as many original elements as we possibly could. The addition of carefully selected coloured elements adds new character and identity which is rooted in its culture and history.”

Originally completed in 1961, Park Hill is a Grade II* listed building as well as the largest listed building in Europe. It is regarded as a significant brutalist building of heritage.

The judges commended the approach to retain as much of the original scheme as possible, which saved a total of 577 tonnes of CO2e.

The redevelopment from the architecture firm delivered 356 student bedrooms for occupation and is the third phase of the redevelopment.

Sophie Walker, 23, moved into the Park Hill estate two months ago. She said: “Park Hill is unique. It isn’t really replicated anywhere in Sheffield. You can’t find Grade II* listed concrete walls inside many flats.

“I’m a huge fan of the design of Park Hill. The concrete is gorgeous and it certainly feels very special and rare to have this sort of space in a city-centre flat for sure.”

The estate was sold to developer Urban Splash for £1 by Sheffield City Council 18 years ago in the hopes of it being redeveloped in a few years.

The AJ Retrofit Awards aim to celebrate the design expertise used in the renewal and repurposing of existing buildings and the judges said that this scheme was “a lovely project that captures the spirit of the Retrofit Awards”. 

Written by Joel Hooke

Trainee journalist at the University of Sheffield. Twitter: @JoelHookeJourno

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