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Urban Splash to redevelop Plymouth’s listed Civic Centre

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Urban Splash, the developer behind the overhaul of Sheffield’s Park Hill estate, is set to revamp Plymouth’s grade II-listed 1961 Civic Centre

Speaking at an AJ120 lunch in Manchester yesterday (9 July), the design-savvy developer’s chair Tom Bloxham said an architect had not yet been appointed on the job and that proposals were still at the ‘pre-planning stage’.

It is understood Plymouth Council sold the freehold for the Modernist block to Urban Splash earlier this year. However no significant work will be able to start on the scheme until the council fully moves out of the block in September.

Designed by Hector J W Stirling, the 15-storey post-war building was handed a grade II-listing back in 2007, effectively saving it from demolition by the local authority which had earmarked the site for redevelopment. At the time, the listing caused controversy with the council claiming it could threaten its ambitious city-centre masterplan.

Bloxham, whose company has commissioned more national RIBA Award winning schemes over the past 10 years than any other client (see AJ 18.06.14), said it was also moving forward with the next stages of its long-running redevelopment of Park Hill.

As well as having ‘re-booted’ the masterplan, Bloxham said the team - which includes Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West - was working on a vision for a major new arts and cultural estate within the early 1960s Brutalist estate.

Urban Splash's proposed new international arts venue at Sheffield's Park Hill, dubbed Kunsthille

Urban Splash’s proposed new international arts venue at Sheffield’s Park Hill, dubbed Kunsthille [Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West]

He claimed the project would create a ‘Kunsthalle for Sheffield’ - an international arts venue which would put the city ‘on the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle map’ along with Leeds and Wakefield.

Bloxham also showed progress shots of the resurgent company’s new modular, custom-build ‘hoUSe’ scheme which is taking shape in New Islington, Manchester.

The customisable two to three-storey family houses can be feature a number of layouts, with their owners buying ‘space not rooms’.

Urban Splash's modular 'hoUSe' scheme in New Islington, Manchester

Urban Splash’s modular ‘hoUSe’ scheme in New Islington, Manchester


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Really good news for this building, and Plymouth - which got a phenomenal battering in the early years of WW2, with the city centre looking like Coventry, Dresden or Hiroshima, and this building signalled the substantial completion of reconstruction, to a masterplan drawn up in 1943/4, while the bombing continued.
    Only two buildings in the city centre remain from before WW2 - the shell of Charles Church, now a memorial to the civilian dead, and a 'misaligned' shop (now Argos) in New George Street.

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