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Park Hill

From Academic Kids

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Parkhillflats.jpg
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Park Hill is a 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 Smithson's unbuilt schemes, most notably for Golden Lane in London, was viewed as revolutionary at the time.

The concept of the flats was described as "streets in the sky". Broad decks, wide enough for milk floats, had large numbers of front doors opening onto them. Each deck of the thirteen-storey structure, except the top one, has direct access to ground level at some point on the sloping site. The scheme incorporates a shopping precinct and a primary school.

Park Hill was the site of the first large scale slum clearance in Britain, the previous back-to-back housing having been known as "Little Chicago" in the 1930s, due to the violent crimes sometimes committed there, and partially cleared before World War II.

Further housing schemes were completed to similar designs, including Hyde Park in Sheffield. Over time, the fabric of the building has decayed somewhat, and some other disadvantages of the estate have become apparent. The complex was Grade II* listed in 1998, making it the largest listed building in Europe. The city council hoped this would attract investment to renovate the building, but are now proposing a privatisation scheme to turn the flats into upmarket apartments and business units.

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

Park Hill is also the name of the area in which the flats are sited. The name relates to the deer park attached to Sheffield Manor, the remnant of which is now known as Norfolk Park.

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