UPDATE: 5/3/14 Park Hill today Utopian estate left to die

Last October 20th I attended a sales talk and presentation by Urban Splash masquerading as an architectural tour.  On the walk that followed I met a fellow blogger, was shown round Park Hill in record time, took a lot of pictures and wrote about what I’d seen.

This month came the chance to return and to see what Urban Splash have been up to in the succeeding months.  From outward appearances they have done a lot of work on Phase One, added a stainless steel helical staircase, installed two glazed lifts, hollowed out the four storey cut-out and prepared the commercial and retail space for letting in the lower floors.


After we’d left the flat our small group had a coffee in the Hard Hat Café on Duke Street . . .

. . . then headed down the hill and along Anson Street to look at the front of Phase one, see above and below.

Last October Urban Splash made it clear that they had decided to retain the romantic graffiti scrawled across one of the balconies, as a feature, and indeed this year have installed neon lighting which was switched on on the 50th anniversary of the official opening of Park Hill.

Click the thumbnail to see the full sign

On the Wednesday night a group of us were having a drink in the Sheffield Tap on the station and I looked up and happened to notice that you can see the neon sign from there, so it’s clearly visible across the city.


I love you bridge – Radio 4 now on YouTube

and on the BBC website here -> I love you bridge

As we walked further along past Park Hill and towards the station we came across the new South Street Park.

On the same stretch of land is a city initiative partly funded by Urban Splash as evidenced by the notice below.

An amphitheatre has been created on the hillside accompanied by a stairway up to Talbot Street, made partly of steel, naturally.

In the picture above is visible the lowest block of Park Hill where it meets Talbot Street.  Only four storeys at this level they tend to attract older people and families and although the estate is mostly unoccupied at present I was able to confirm that this has been the trend with younger people preferring the high city facing North end and families the South.

The curve of the amphitheatre isn’t obvious in the picture above but look below and you can clearly see the edge of it curving away beside the stairs that lead down from Talbot Street to Midland Station.

From Talbot Street it is only a short walk to the Cholera Monument and so being on a city trail as well as an architectural quest we headed off to the park to read about our less fortunate ancestors.


On the day I left Sheffield I had the strange experience of turning a corner by the Alex (now reopened) (now student flats) and seeing straight through Phase One.

Courtesy of Google Streetview

I was reminded of something that Owen Hatherley had said in a talk last year at the RFH on Level 5 that Park Hill Phase One was a billboard for the city but the block itself was empty behind the coloured panels, and I think this photo illustrates that very well.

Lots more photographs here:-


Another article about Park Hill here:-

Why Park Hill should live

Old link below.


and have preserved it here:-

Why Park Hill Should Live – cosmopolitan scum.mht

See my earlier post from last October >here<

More here from the Architectural Review:-

A second chance for Sheffield’s streets in the sky 

Yet another article, this time from the Telegraph


Yet another article, this time from the Independent

Sheffield’s Park Hill: Estate Expectations

Architectural Review links here:-






One Response to “Park Hill – Urban Splash II”

  1. cosmopolitanscum Says:

    Great to see the landscaping, and the first phase near completion. Really like the overall affect but I’m not sure I’m a great fan of the stainless steel balustrades of the spiral staircase – a step too far I think, but as I say the landscaping looks like it will be in well. Robust, but dynamic like the building.
    PS I wrote the original article but when it was removed from Blueprint I posted it on my own blog.
    PPS thanks so much for posting the High Rise Dreams programme. I’ve downloaded. Great stuff.
    PPPS really like your blog. good work.

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