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    Blog by Ruth Reed PPRIBA

    #US25 - "For Park Hill and many other important buildings, I am really glad that they did make it work"

    27 August 2018
    A 5 minute read by Ruth Reed Hon AIA FRIAS PPRIBA

    As part of our 25th anniversary exhibition, It Will Never Work, in collaboration with RIBA North, the last eight presidents of the RIBA have reflected on the contribution that Urban Splash have made to architecture, regeneration and the built environment over the last 25 years.

    The sixth in the series comes from Ruth Reed, Hon AIA FRIAS PPRIBA of Green Planning Studio Ltd. Past RIBA President 2009 – 2011.

    Park Hill, Sheffield

    “The joy of Urban Splash is how contagious their confidence is. In cities across England, they have found the buildings that are key to the identity of the place and imbued them with new life and vision, shouting out to the community that it is worth investing in, raising public confidence.

    “The Urban Splash development that is closest to my heart I have known both before and after its regeneration. Park Hill Sheffield was a no-go area in the 70’s and 80’s when I lived in the city.

    Commercial space at Park Hill

    “What should have been a monument to social housing was an oppressive reminder of lack of investment and poor management hanging over the city centre. Taking huge but very successful liberties with the fabric of this listed building it now sparkles back, radiating new confidence.

    “The role that good design has played in this and the other schemes they have been responsible for has provided exemplars for the role great design plays in regeneration.

    “For Park Hill and many other acts of faith in investing in challenging but important buildings, I am really glad that they did make it work.”

    Steel staircase at Park Hill

    The position of RIBA President was established in 1835 and has been previously held by significant architects including Sir George Gilbert Scott, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Alfred Waterhouse and Sir Basil Spence.

    'It Will Never Work' exhibition dates

    20 June - 12 September
    Glenn Howells Architects, 321 Bradford Street, Birmingham, B5 6ET

    17 - 28 September
    RIBA London, 66 Portland Place, Marylebone, London, W1B 1NT

    About the author

    Ruth Reed Hon AIA FRIAS PPRIBA

    Ruth is an architect with a career that spans public and private practice and the Planning Inspectorate. She was the first woman president of the Royal Institute of British Architects and continues to represent the profession in planning matters. Ruth held the position of RIBA President from 2009 – 2011.

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