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Brutalist housing estate in Sheffield to host £21m art hub

Park Hill Art Space will include artists' studios and a research institute

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A rendering of one of the artists' studios to be created at Park Hill Carmody Groarke

Park Hill, Sheffield’s Brutalist post-war housing estate, is to be the location for a £21m creative hub.

The engineering firm Arup, which designed the 2,300-home concrete complex in the 1950s, will convert the estate’s Duke Street block into the Park Hill Art Space. The 13-storey structure will house flats and studios for artists, a research institute, archive, shop and café, as well as a permanent home for the charity S1 Artspace, to be designed by the architects Carmody Groarke. The project, which is led by S1 Artspace, will create “Sheffield’s largest art gallery” and a “flagship venue for arts, culture and heritage”, according to a statement by Arup.

S1 Artspace currently provides studio space to more than 20 Sheffield-based artists. Alumni include Haroon Mirza and Martin Clark, the director of Camden Arts Centre. The charity began running a pilot programme of exhibitions and events at a former pub on the Park Hill estate in 2015. Its new venue, which is due to open in 2022, will have 600 to 750 sq. m of exhibition space. Fundraising is currently under way, a spokeswoman for S1 Artspace says.

Arup’s project director, Greg Hardie, says that preserving Park Hill’s existing structure will be a central concern. The estate gained grade II* listed status in 1998. “Arup’s expertise and understanding of the structure will be invaluable in securing this modern heritage asset for future generations,” says Louise Hutchinson, the artistic director of S1 Artspace, in a statement.