‘Brutal’ estate put forward for world architecture award

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SOME view it as a triumph of 1950s brutalist architecture, others as a blot on Sheffield’s skyline.

But the iconic and controversially Grade II listed Park Hill estate, known for its “streets in the sky”, has now been brought to the attention of a global audience once again, in being shortlisted for the world’s biggest architecture competition.

Now in its fourth year, the World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards attracted its highest number of entries to date, with 704 entries from 59 different countries.

And now, those 704 entries have been whittled down to 281 shortlisted buildings, with Park Hill going up against projects including a theatre made of straw in Estonia, a soccer school in Soweto, a tree hotel in Sweden, a bamboo office in India and a moving gallery in New York for the final.

Paul Finch, WAF programme director, said: “The WAF Awards celebrate architectural excellence the world over and allow architects to showcase their talent and their unique responses to the ever-changing economic climate.

“There is now an increasing need for innovative approaches to architecture, inspiring architects and designers to think in new ways about buildings.

“It’s encouraging that the quality of this year’s entries is the highest we’ve ever seen and we look forward to seeing which projects both the judges select as the winners.”

Architects Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith began designing Park Hill flats in 1945, and the homes were officially opened by MP Hugh Gaitskell in 1961.

The estate is currently in the midst of a huge regeneration project by developer Urban Splash.