FIRST LOOK: Architect wins contract for £21m art space at Sheffield's Park Hill flats

How the Park Hill Art Space could look. Image: Carmody Groarke
How the Park Hill Art Space could look. Image: Carmody Groarke
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The first images of a £21 million plan to turn part of Park Hill flats into a public art centre have been revealed.

London-based architect Carmody Groarke has today been revealed as the firm that will design the new Park Hill Art Space.

The proposal is to turn the Duke Street block into a public art gallery and artists' studios.

S1 Artspace, a Sheffield-based charity, is currently based in the old Scottish Queen pub at Park Hill, but will move into the Duke Street block permanently once work is complete.

Carmody Groarke won a competitive tender process to design the development and will now receive a £950,000 contract to come up with detailed plans for the Grade II*-listed brutalist building.

S1 Artspace artistic director Louise Hutchinson said: "We are delighted to be working with Carmody Groarke to transform our vision for Park Hill Art Space into a design that we hope will capture the imagination of audiences both locally and nationally.

The Duke Street block will be transformed as part of the 21m redevelopment project.

The Duke Street block will be transformed as part of the 21m redevelopment project.

"The quality of the shortlisted proposals was extremely impressive, which reflects the enormous potential of this project and continued interest in Park Hill. We very much look forward to working with Carmody Groarke on this exciting project."

The winning design was chosen ahead of rival bids by Caruso St John, 6a Architects, David Kohn Architects, Architecture 00 and Dow Jones Architects.

Carmody Groarke is known for its work on various projects across the country, including an £11 million redevelopment of Dorset County Museum, work on the Victoria and Albert Museum, and a plan to turn unused farming land near Heathrow airport into a park.

Director Andy Groarke said: "We are extremely proud to have been selected by S1 Artspace to work with them in developing their vision for an international public art venue and artists’ studios.

There will also be a public arts venue. Image: Carmody Groarke

There will also be a public arts venue. Image: Carmody Groarke

"Making S1 Artspace an integral part of the future of Park Hill will be hugely important for the growth of the arts and the cultural economy of Sheffield, and will safeguard the listed buildings’ future with creative transformation."

Park Hill, which was completed in 1961, was once a pioneering social housing development, but fell into disrepair over the decades.

Regeneration firm Urban Splash is part-way through a major project to bring it back into use. Conversion of the first block into 260 homes is now complete, and plans for the £25 million second phase of 200 homes and 2,500 sq m of business space were submitted earlier this year.

A further phase includes a £20 million student accommodation block.

The block is currently empty and derelict.

The block is currently empty and derelict.

The Government has set aside £1 million for the Duke Street project, and S1 Artspace is bidding for more funding.

The Park Hill Art Space will feature studios for artists and creative businesses, a research institute, an auditorium, learning space, archive, live-work flats, a production workshop, café, shop and an outdoor sculpture park. It is scheduled to complete in 2022.

The space will include artists' studios. Image: Carmody Groarke

The space will include artists' studios. Image: Carmody Groarke