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brutalism: park hill in sheffield - england | by Paolo Margari |
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brutalism: park hill in sheffield - england

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Park Hill is a council housing estate in Sheffield, England. Designed by Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith and built between 1957 and 1961, the deck access scheme, inspired by Le Corbusier's Unité d'Habitation and the Smithsons' unbuilt schemes, most notably for Golden Lane in London, was an example of 'brutalist style' viewed as revolutionary at the time. Construction is of an exposed concrete frame with yellow, orange and red brick curtain walling. 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.

Park Hill was the site of the first large scale slum clearance in Britain.

Although initially popular and successful, over time, the fabric of the building has decayed somewhat and some other disadvantages of the estate, such as poor noise insulation and easy getaway routes for muggers, have become apparent. For many years, the council have had difficulty finding tenants for the flats. However, the complex remains structurally sound, unlike many of the system built blocks of the era and 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.

Even now, inhabitants of Sheffield are split on the matter of Park Hill; many believe it to be a part of Sheffield's heritage, while others consider it nothing more than an eyesore and blot on the landscape (Wikipedia).


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Taken on April 9, 2007