Keith Wilson

Sculpture Park Hill

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The vast interior landscape of Park Hill transformed to become an inner-city drive-through sculpture park for the city of Sheffield. Park Hill Plinths is a permanent site-specific public sculpture integrated into the altered interior landscape of the iconic Brutalist Grade 2* Park Hill estate in Sheffield, the largest listed structure in Europe. The inaugural and only permanent work set in the new landscape the site-specific installation features a series of five disc-shaped concrete plinth bases positioned at various intervals across the 3.5-acre site. The 3.18 metre diameter of each plinth directly refers to the basic unitary grid plan of the surrounding Park Hill flats. Using the same concrete mix originally used for the buildings and with their heights based on the estate’s incremental plateaus, the plinths are strongly linked both to the typography and to the material reality of the site. The Park Hill Plinths installation serves to announce the arrival of a new sculpture park Sculpture Park Hill, and helps set the scene for a planned new art museum.

Located within the Manor Castle neighbourhood, amongst the 10% most deprived areas in England, this project establishes a site to encounter and experience sculpture where the immediate community may not otherwise have the opportunity. Re-voicing a post-war socialist ideal of utilising the potential for the sculptural encounter to instigate a radically changed society, and re-awakening the utopian vision that the 1960s Park Hill estate was a key part of, Park Hill Plinths and Sculpture Park Hill serve to revive this concept of sculpture and architecture as a catalyst for social transformation, keeping the project closely bound to Park Hill’s history, indeed becoming the latest chapter of it.

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