Info   Instagram        

Architecture School of the Commons

This project is concerned with the re-use of Sheffield’s Park Hill housing estate, and important relic of the British postwar welfare state approach to housing provision. Park Hill was itself a project of great ambition and bravery, born out of an optimistic attitute within architecture: that good architecture was for everyone and through its optimism could raise the ambition and aspirations of its residents.

Architecture was seen as a social good, and its ownershop and direction was in the hands of the state. The built environment could be used as a tool to achive the social ambitions of the government, for the ‘good’ of the people.

Its brief success and then protracted decline into an area of crime and povery is more likely a result of broader changes in society, and the government’s attitude to the built environment. 

Under the Thatcher government, the ‘American Dream’ of home ownership was sold to the British population, and aspiration shifted from wider socal good, towards private asset wealth and individualism. 

I believe that architecture is a social good. Its influence should be seen and experienced through a broader education and discourse. Architecture should not be the preserve of the elite, rather it shuld features as a core of community discussion and debate.

Skills and training should be made available in the public commons, a collective resource which can be accessed by the communuty to enable them to devise and direct a democatically formulated built environment.

In this project I proposed the building of an Architecture School of the Commons which physically interacts with the existing Park Hill structure.

As a place of collaboration, training and debate, it would provide the catalyst for the further regeneration of the Park Hill estate.

This regeneration would be lead by the collaboration of skilled professionals with the local community. It will utilise the latest technologies in design and manufacture to deliver the facilities that the community needs, rather than facitities for the perceived property market.

There exists a diverse community around the Park Hill estate, with strong historical and social links to the area. They are currently isolated from the broader Sheffield community by physical, social and economic barriers.

The Park Hill estate has become architecturally isolated, no longer providing relvant functionallity to the local community.

They need to be reconnected socially and economically to the city.

Architect can provide the forum for social reconnection. This proposal’s goal is to create such a forum, and give the community a means to reconnect.

Using the physical structure of Park Hill, the proposal gives the local population the means by which they can recreate and connect back to their community.

The role of the architect is much more than the creation of architectural form, at its best architecture supports and creates social connections: creating a community.
This proposal seeks to act as a catalyst for the local residents to develop their own mixed use architectural and social proposals for Park Hill’s renovation.