The fašade of the first flank of the first phase of Park Hill flats is now finished (May 2010). The other two flanks, by the Park Square roundabout end, are currently undergoing concrete repairs and being re-faced.
The new anodized aluminium panels sparkle in the sunlight. An accelerated UV test was conducted to check that the panels wouldn't fade for at least 30 years. It's the first time that anodized aluminium like this has ever been used on such a large scale.
A view across the north-west of Sheffield from the top deck of the flats. The concrete repairs were done by a Midlands firm; the anodized aluminium panels and glazing came from Huddersfield and Blackburn companies, and much of the steel is from Sheffield.
Once all three fašades of the first three flanks have been finished, the interior of the flats will be fitted and show apartments should be ready spring/summer 2011.
Park Hill as seen from Sheffield station. The bridge will be open to the public for the forseeable future, despite proposed barriers by East Midlands Trains. Park Hill development manager Mark Latham said, "It's a triumph of common sense!"
Despite the delicate economy, Urban Splash are still hopeful that every flat on the estate will be refurbished: "That's certainly our hope and our vision. We know it will take a long time, but absolutely - we're determined to get there," says Mark Latham.
The end of January 2010 was a landmark for Park Hill; the first fašade was finally made watertight and wind-proof. The windows, coloured panels, concrete balustrades and the roof of one flank were all complete as part of these 'enveloping' works.
Three flanks make up Phase One. The flank on the left is most complete, the middle flank shows how the left flank looked during the concrete repairs in summer 2009, while the far right flank is how it looked when the interior walls had just been removed.
This is how the same part of the building looked before building work first began in March 2008. Click on the links below to see more photos of the development's progression from 2008 until 2010.
Tom Lawrence is Urban Splash's development manager for Park Hill, pictured here when the interior walls had been removed from the north end of the flats.
Tom Lawrence explains how they chose the panels: "Anodized aluminium offers an amazing lustre. Depending on the angle it's very sparkly and bright - really vibrant in the sun - very different from standard cladding."
The various partners involved in the project met at the site for a press photo on 29th January 2010. By early 2012 Urban Splash say there should be "an established community living and working there."
The view east from high up on Park Hill, looking towards Duke Street. The building on the right shows the original brickwork banding in ivory, beige, terracotta and plum.
The original colours of the brickwork banding can just be seen through 40 years of dirt and grime.
The new design for the banding is bright yellow at the top, orange-gold, red, and vibrant purple at the bottom. "It mimics the old building, but with a modern twist," says Tom Lawrence.
A view from inside. The glazed windows are still covered in protective wrapping which will be taken off when the building is totally finished.
Sixty contractors have been on site to install the glazing and panelling on the building. Each element of the building has its own specialist sub-contractor so 20 window fitters have been working on the panels.
View west over Sheffield city centre. The station and Digital Campus are in the foreground with St Paul's Tower in the middle. Hallamshire Hospital, the town hall, Sheffield wheel and the Arts Tower (in white cladding) are to the right.
This is the artist's impression of the building's fašade, complete with coloured panels. Eventually the whole building should look like this - but not for a good few years. Urban Splash hope people will be living there by late 2012.
We have a great collection of photos of the early days of Park Hill, from the 1950s building work to the people who lived and grew up there over the past 40 years. Take a look by clicking on the links below.
This photo was taken by Tom Jones in the 1950s-60s and provided by Park Hill Tenants and Residents Association.