Architect: Jack Lynn, Ivor Smith under JL Womersley
South Street, Sheffield
Forming part of the first phase of the exemplary Grade-II listed Park Hill renovation is this wonderful three-bedroom dual-aspect apartment, arranged over two levels. Originally built between 1957 and 1961 to a design by Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith under the supervision of John Lewis Wormersley, the flats have been the subject of an extensive refurbishment project, shortlisted for the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize, which commenced in 2009 to a design by architects Studio Egret West, Hawkins Brown and Grant Associates.
Externally, colourful anodised aluminium panels replicate the coloured brick tones of the original façade and emphasise the modular structure. Internal accommodation extends to approximately 1,090 sq ft and combines beautifully, aluminium-framed floor-to-ceiling glazing with engineered oak flooring and exposed concrete structural elements faithful to its Brutalist heritage.
The topography of the site means that the apartment is officially situated on the sixth and seventh floors, but on the second and third floors at point of entry. Access is via a plywood front door on Hague street. On this level is an expansive master bedroom with en-suite shower room, floor-to-ceiling glazing along an entire aspect, and a glazed sliding door to a west-facing timber-decked balcony.
Against raw concrete walls, an elegant timber staircase and handrail ascend, beneath a glass balustrade, to the upper level landing where there is access to a store room and family bathroom. To the right is an enormous living room with a west-facing timber-decked balcony and separate smaller metal balcony, and an open-plan kitchen with plywood cabinetry and built-in appliances. Through a set of double doors is a versatile second bedroom, which can be used as a dining room, and a third double bedroom, also accessible from the landing.
The original Park Hill design comprised of four ranges linked by bridges and arranged at obtuse angles to maximise the panoramic views across the city and southern Pennines. The term ‘streets in the sky’ was used to describe the concept of a high-density vertical street system consisting of four levels of street decks, wide enough to carry milk floats, and with a ‘high street’ of local services on the lower levels.
The developers of the new scheme have furthered this incorporation of amenities to include a nursery, a soon to be opened cafe, a village green, along with new work-spaces for businesses, artists and students, and the provision of secure parking. Since completion of the first phase, a new public park, South Street Open Space, has been created by Sheffield City Council between the nearby railway station and Park Hill. The second phase of renovation is currently underway and due for completion in 2022.
Park Hill is located approximately ten minutes’ walk from the galleries, theatres and shopping of Sheffield city centre. Sheffield has the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe and is home to two of the UK’s largest universities and around 60,000 students. Sheffield Hallam University – City campus is within ten minutes’ walk and Sheffield University Campus around a 25-minute walk.
The city’s main train station is a five-minute walk and runs direct services to London St Pancras International in around two hours, Manchester Piccadilly in under an hour, and Liverpool in approximately an hour and 40 minutes. There is also a tram and bus stop five minutes’ walk away, with services to the university, hospitals, Meadowhall shopping centre and Hillsborough.
Lease Length: approx. 249 years from 14th April 2009
Service Charge: approx. £135 per month in 2016-17
Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.
Park Hill is one of the seven hills on which Sheffield is built and is named in relation to the deer park attached to Sheffield Manor, the remnant of which is now known as Norfolk Park.
Originally inspired by Le Corbusier’s Unite d’Habitation and the Smithsons’ unbuilt schemes, most notably for Golden Lane estate in London, the deck-access scheme was viewed as revolutionary at the time. In 1998, following a period of decline, the flats were recognised for their iconic Brutalist style and became Europe’s largest listed building.
In 2011 the first phase of the part-privatisation scheme was completed by developer Urban Splash in partnership with English Heritage, stripping the buildings to their concrete frames and turning the flats into a series of design-led apartments, commercial units and social housing. The second phase will be built to a design by Mikhail Riches and is due for completion in 2022.
A piece of graffiti, ‘Clare Middleton I love you will u marry me’, which is written on one of the bridges linking two of the blocks, was the subject of a documentary broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2011, in search of the story behind the motif. As part of the refurbishment of the estate the developers illuminated, in neon, the portion of the graffiti reading ‘I love you will u marry me’.