Sheffield architecture firm wins award for Park Hill design

A Sheffield-based architectural firm has won an award for its work to redevelop the Park Hill estate at Beton House.

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

Nick Riley, Board Director of Whittam Cox Architects, said: “Winning this design award is a testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in bringing this incredibly special and unique project to fruition.

“Our design approach was to be authentic and respectful of the structure and the facades. We felt it was important to retain, repair and restore as many original elements as possible. The addition of carefully selected colorful elements adds a new character and identity 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 considered an important Brutalist heritage building.

The judges praised the approach of keeping as much of the original program as possible, which saved a total of 577 tonnes of CO2e.

The architectural firm‘s redevelopment has delivered 356 student rooms for occupancy 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’s not really replicated anywhere in Sheffield. You cannot find Grade II* listed concrete walls in many apartments.

“I’m a big fan of the Park Hill design. The concrete is beautiful and it is certainly very special and rare to have this kind of space in a downtown apartment for sure.

The estate was sold to developer Urban Splash for £1 by Sheffield City Council 18 years ago in the hope that it will be redeveloped within a few years.

the AJ Renovation Awards aim to celebrate the design expertise used in the renewal and repurposing of existing buildings and the judges said this program was “a great project that reflects the spirit of the Retrofit Awards”.

Michael J. Chiaramonte