Urban Splash say, ‘all Park Hill needs is love….’ We say; ‘ its residents need to be loved, listened too and allowed to express themselves in a way that creates character, change, difference, confidence and colour. Everyone is an artist.
Group Ginger was invited to compete alongside five other architects for the opportunity to refurbish the Grade II Listed Park Hill Estate Phase two into contemporary homes and workspaces. Urban Splash Co-Founder and Creative Director Jonathan Falkingham MBE explained: “We gave each of the six shortlisted architect practices a flat and a two-week window in which they could design it however they wished, before then ‘inviting’ Urban Splash and our partners into ‘their’ home…to tell us about their vision.”
Park Hill was known for its community spirit and it is this loss which is lamented most by residents. This notion of community has changed from that idealised in the 1950’s when Park Hill was conceived. Group Ginger wish to help create that cohesive community, activity and vibrancy now and to allow the expression of this community to humanise the buildings. We want to allow greater expression of the individual and transparency. Reyner Banahm criticised the original scheme saying it was more concerned with life than architecture. We are concerned with nurturing this life and making manifest inhabitation in such a way that it makes sense at differing scales. Our approach is to re-evaluate the relationships that exist at four different scales; City, Neighbourhood, Street and Home and to celebrate this as the theatre of the everyday.
Urban Splash appointed architects Mikhail Riches from a shortlist of architects, Alma-Nac, Architecture 00 and Project Orange from London, Group Ginger from Leeds, and Sheffield based OS31.