A thirteen-story housing complex built in 1961 in Sheffield, England, will be transformed into a $28 million arts center by Arup, the engineering consultancy that originally designed the estate, according to the Yorkshire Post. Park Hill Art Space will be the site of artist housing and studios, a research institute, an archive, a café, a shop, and a permanent location for S1 Artspace, an artist-led nonprofit devoted to commissioning and exhibiting artwork. The new project was designed by architect Carmody Groarke, who recently redesigned the members’ room of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
Upon its original completion, the Park Hill complex was considered a feat of Brutalism, and in 1998 it was given a Grade II* listing, a status the British government attributes to buildings of architectural or historical importance. The building is known for being polarizing: While many see the estate as an icon and an important part of Yorkshire’s heritage, others find the concrete block a blemish on the landscape.
“Park Hill is a project that is close to all our hearts. It is one of the reasons why we established an office in Sheffield, so we are delighted to be part of Park Hill’s transformation,” Arup project director Greg Hardie said. “This new flagship arts venue will help put Sheffield on the map as a top arts and culture destination, both nationally and internationally. Preserving the existing structure will be center to the project, to give it another sixty years of life, while also creating the new gallery space on the estate.”