The Proposals

We recognise the international significance of Park Hill’s architecture and its Grade II* listed status. We are excited about being part of the transformation of this historic landmark into a lively, mixed and sustainable community for the 21st Century.

The proposals include around 350 new student bedrooms and a communal space, as well as up to 365 square meters (sq m) of commercial space with the potential to provide a shop, gym and/or pub at ground-floor level, all for use by Park Hill residents and the local community.

Our aim for Phase 3 is to breathe a new lease of life into the block, retaining all of its existing physical features and character, while creating a modern, safe and enjoyable place to live. The proposals are also designed to ensure they complement Urban Splash’s plans.

Summary of Development Proposal

  • Part of one of Europe’s most high-profile regeneration schemes
  • Around 350 beds for students, including a number of wheelchair accessible rooms
  • Refurbished Grade II* listed building with purpose built student accommodation, offering a variety of rooms across studio, 4, 6 and 8 bed flats, to suit different students’ budgets
  • Accommodation will be set out in unique ‘townhouse’ layouts
  • Located just under 5 minutes’ walk from Sheffield train station and tram stop, under 10 minutes to Sheffield City Centre
  • Open plan kitchen/dining rooms
  • A single central reception will provide secure access for students to the accommodation along with the student leisure and amenity spaces
  • Dedicated student common area with study, lounge, flexible space for events. The spaces will designed in a way that encourages social interaction between residents
  • Building will be located within landscaped gardens, which can be enjoyed by residents and visitors
  • Full-time management team on site to provide a safe and secure home for students, and build positive links with the local community
  • 365 sq m of commercial space at ground floor level, offering the potential for a shop, cafe/pub and/or gym for the benefit of all Park Hill residents, businesses and the surrounding community

1. Aerial View

Design Approach

“Park Hill is captivating and infectious; its original design has timeless value and architectural integrity architecturally. Our responsibility is to interpret what is there and create a design response, which ensures a long term future for this historically important asset.”
Whittam Cox Architects

We are proposing a high-quality design, which includes the public spaces that link to the wider Park Hill estate and surrounding areas such as Talbot Street.

The latest masterplan for Park Hill shows the blocks as individual neighbourhoods, each with their own ‘identity. Phase 3 is unique because it has a more right-angled edge (also known as chamfered). This has the effect of reducing the overall mass of the building and enclosing the courtyard.

Whittam Cox Architects has developed a scheme that works with and retains as much of the existing building as possible while ensuring it meets modern living standards. This is in line with the approach adopted with the now-completed Phase 1.]

Alumno is working alongside Whittam Cox Architects – the first design practice in the Sheffield City Region to play a key role in the transformation of Park Hill, to add bespoke student accommodation to the mix of delivered and proposed commercial and residential space.

The initial proposals are designed predominantly around groups of four and eight bedrooms with shared kitchen-lounges in an innovative three-storey ‘townhouse’ model. Studios and smaller 2 bedroom units will also be provided.

On the ground floor a reception and student hub (or common room) area will provide space for students to study, relax and be capable of hosting events.

In addition to the student accommodation, 365 square metres of commercial space will be included with the potential for a local shop, café-pub or gym for the benefit of all residents and the surrounding community.

Design Inspiration

Park Hill is captivating and infectious; its original design has timeless value and architectural integrity. The Phase 3 block mosaic on the wall of the former Parkway Tavern (pictured below) is the inspiration for the new proposed colour scheme.

3. Mosaic Clean

Park Hill was originally inspired by the modernist movement artistically and architecturally

3. a85ce57b2121209ca9d4f8ffc618990c--le-corbusier-hall

Retained brickwork with new infill panels that work with the existing facade patterns.

3. Park Hill Sketch View


Proposals for the landscaping within the Phase 3 development have been designed to work with the existing historical setting of Park Hill. To develop and deliver this Alumno has appointed oobe, a Newcastle-based landscape architecture practice with experience in education sector.

The proposals will aim to do the following:

  • Celebrate the structures and forms within the existing landscape
  • Keep as much of the existing retaining features, wall infrastructure and trees as possible
  • Focus on a central lawn for student residents
  • Provide informal, playful seating and planting
  • Offer a variety of different spaces that allow different activities, from areas for outdoor study to lawns for activities and events
  • Include break-out spaces with tables and chairs
  • A low-maintenance and climate-resilient ‘meadow planting’ that creates interest throughout the year
  • Provide a safe living environment for students[Insert visualisation]

3. campus lawn

The proposed landscape masterplan takes into consideration the existing character and features within the outdoor space.

The design deliberately takes a ‘light-touch’ approach to retaining existing walls and ramps, deliberately making-good existing features and resurfacing where possible.

Outdoor spaces will reflect the architectural functions within the building: The lower level spaces provide a range of areas for outdoor socialising, dining and study, as well as potential commercial break-out space adjacent to the commercial zone within the building.

Planting is central to defining and shaping the space. The areas around main entrances will be richly planted. A central lawn is located at the heart of the scheme and is framed by low maintenance planting to buffer views from private flats. Existing trees and grassland will be maintained and enhanced along Talbot Street and the east and western outer façades. These areas will be enhanced by additional ‘pioneer species’ tree planting and areas of long meadow grass.

The landscaping will be maintained by the appointed management company ensuring long term that a high quality landscape is retained.


The proposals will seek to include a range of sustainable features in order to meet Alumno’s sustainable aspirations for all projects including:

  • BREEAM target: ‘very good’
  • Floor to ceiling height windows to maximise natural light
  • Predominantly natural ventilation throughout the building via windows
  • The reuse of the block rather than demolition will save many tonnes of carbon emissions as well as a substantial reduction in building waste
  • Energy-efficient fittings, such as LED lighting and prominent electricity metering
  • Promoting recycling during both construction and occupation
  • Where possible, locally sourced building materials to reduce transportation pollution and support the local economy
  • Promotion of cycle use with the provision of conveniently and secure cycle stores
  • Use of Green Guide to Specification A+-rated materials