To begin at the beginning high on a hill overlooking the city – Park Hill.
Park Hill was previously the site of back-to-back housing, a mixture of two and three storey tenement buildings, waste ground, quarries and steep alleyways. Clearance of the area began during the 1930s.
Following the war it was decided that a radical scheme needed to be introduced to deal with rehousing the Park Hill community. Inspired by Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation architects Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith under the supervision of J. L. Womersley, Sheffield Council’s City Architect, began work in 1953 designing the Park Hill Flats.
Construction began in 1957 – officially opened on 16 June 1961.
The complex remained structurally sound, unlike many system-built blocks of the era, and controversially was Grade II* listed in 1998 making it the largest listed building in Europe.
A part-privatisation scheme by the developer Urban Splash in partnership with English Heritage to turn the flats into upmarket apartments, business units and social housing is now underway.
Plan for Sheffield 1963
Let’s go down town.
Take a look at Elements Fire Steel Brian Asquith’s work unveiled on May 10th 1965 at the former Westminster Bank – subsequently sited here on the Sheffield Hallam campus. He was also responsible for the sculptural work in the Peace Gardens.
Onwards to the Co-op’s former Castle House Store.
Grade II Iisted Co-operative department store described by Historic England as ‘1964 by George S Hay, Chief Architect for CWS, with interior design by Stanley Layland, interior designer for CWS. Reinforced concrete with Blue Pearl granite tiles and veneers, grey granite tiles and veneers, buff granite blocks, glass, and brick.’
The original branch was destroyed in the Blitz, to be replaced by a temporary prefabricated shop.
Seen here in Sean Madner’s wonderful photographs.
Vulcan by Boris Tietze commisioned by Horne Brothers 1961 for their head office building No. 1 King Street. Glass fibre on a metal armature the 8 foot high figure holding a bundle of metal rods.
Off to court – Sheffield Magistrates Courts of 1978 designed by B Warren City Planning Officer and Architect, along with the adjacent Police Headquarters of 1970. Described by the Pevsner guide as – coherent in design if not particularly loveable.
Under construction 1977
Passing the Graves by City Architect WG Davies 1929-34, with a friendly nod to inter-war Modernity. Intended to form one side of an unrealised civic square proposed by Patrick Abercrombie in 1924. The exterior carved work is by Alfred and William Tory.
Visualisation by Geo Daniels
There were major exhibitions in both 1945 and 1963 illustrating the plans down up for the redevelopment of the city.
Off to the shops and the former Cole Brothers Stores by York, Rosenberg and Mardall, clad in their trademark white tiles opened in September 1963 – currently trading as John Lewis.
Tucked around the corner my go to guy for up to the minute cast concrete public art William Mitchell.
Under construction 1977
Crucible by Judith Bluck located outside the Manpower Service Commission Building, commissioned for the Property Services Agency of the Department of the Environment in 1979. It is a large bronze-coloured plastic fountain sculpture. The artist referred to it as an exploding crucible.
Finishing up at the renowned Moore Street Power Station
Electricity substation. 1968 to designs by consulting architects Jefferson, Sheard and Partners, Sheffield, led by Bryan Jefferson, in association with the Regional Civil Engineers’ Department of the CEGB North East Region. Contractors, Longden & Sons Ltd, Sheffield. Reinforced concrete frame with board-marked finish with formwork bolt marks, construction and daywork joints emphasized, concrete floor slabs, blue engineering facing bricks, cladding panels of Cornish granite aggregate.