THE second phase of a multi-million pound restoration project to transform one of the UK’s largest grade two listed buildings into contemporary homes and workspaces is underway with the appointment of a new architect.
Developer Urban Splash has chosen London-based Mikhail Riches to design the next stage of Park Hill in Sheffield, which will include up to 200 homes and approximately 30,000 sq ft of commercial space.
The first phase, which has now been completed, saw Urban Splash, alongside partners Places for People and Great Places, create 260 apartments – 85 per cent of which are sold or occupied, plus commercial space for ten businesses and a rolling arts programme.
Mikhail Riches’ appointment follows a creative six-way pitch, the brief for which was to preserve the legacy and efforts of phase one architect Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West as well as the vision of original architect Ivor Smith, who designed Park Hill with the late Jack Lynn.
The six shortlisted firms were each given a flat and two weeks to design it however they wished to see the constraints and opportunities that the building brings.
Jonathan Falkingham MBE, Urban Splash co-founder and creative director, said: “Park Hill is complicated, it claims to be the largest grade two listed building in the UK; this is both a huge challenge and an opportunity.
“With phase one we were able to transform widely held negative perceptions and to demonstrate that Park Hill could again become an amazing place to live.
“This has created an amazingly strong platform for phase two which we want to use as an opportunity to challenge ourselves afresh by starting from first principles and working with some new ideas.”
The new Park Hill designs will be drawn by Mikhail Riches with input from Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West who will act as strategic architectural consultants.
Mikhail Riches was founded by David Mikhail and Annalie Riches who specialise in residential development and are used to working on listed buildings. Previous projects include designing new townhouses at White City, a part of the redevelopment of BBC Television Centre in London.
Ms Riches, who studied at Sheffield University, said: “It is an enormous privilege to be involved in Park Hill’s resurrection and we are really excited to be the chosen practice for phase two.”
She added: “Our proposal retained the existing brickwork but made the sculptural qualities of the façade more legible by use of colour, an act that residents had started by painting their own reveals.”