There were many who thought the conversion of the much-maligned Park Hill flats in Sheffield would never happen but they have been proved spectacularly wrong.
Phase one of the radical transformation of the Brutalist building from no-go area to des-res is complete with a new, 700-strong community living in contemporary apartments.
Phase two, which will include another 200 homes and more commercial space by Urban Splash, will launch early next year with the first residents expected to move in mid 2021 .
Phase three, Béton House by Alumno, is running alongside it. It is made up of innovative student accommodation comprising mostly of townhouses with some two-bedroom and studio flats.
Alumno, an award-winning specialist in the design and development of student accommodation, opened a show flat at Béton House this week. The scheme is due for completion in September 2020 ready for the new academic year.
Meanwhile, the spirit of Park Hill is captured in a poem commissioned by Alumno – “We were never derelict” by Sheffield Poet Laureate Otis Mensah. This will be on permanent display at Béton House as part of new public artworks and it reads:
“Otis Mensah says: “When asked to write the poem for Park Hill, I was conflicted and felt it was imperative to depict the beauty and resilience of a community, focusing on the people that make Sheffield.
“We Were Never Derelict is about hope and unity and shedding light on the human cost of disenfranchisement even in the very heart of it. I hope that this poem portrays the ever-changing state of life and society and simultaneously burdens the reader to acknowledge their social responsibility.”
Alumno also commissioned a new Park Hill font. Created by design agency Founded, it can be downloaded via www.parkhilltype.com.
The typeface has two versions; Park Hill Regular and Park Hill Hardcore – both inspired by the accidental typographic forms created by the footplate of the buildings and the shape of this iconic brutalist structure.
David Campbell, MD of Alumno said: “It is great to see Béton House coming to life and to build the momentum with the introduction of the font and poem. Park Hill is part of Sheffield’s history and now it’s future and we wanted to recognise this with something practical and something memorable. Our new Park Hill font can be used across all forms of communication and is immediately associated with Park Hill and with Sheffield.”
For details visit www.betonhouse.co.uk