Dezeen Magazine

Park Hill estate restored by Mikhail Riches in Sheffield

"A remarkable benchmark for future conservation" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are discussing how Mikhail Riches has restored the "original beauty" of brutalist Park Hill estate in Sheffield.

A palette of green, blue and purple animates the latest phase of the redevelopment of Park Hill estate in Sheffield, recently completed by Stirling Prize-winning studio Mikhail Riches.

The London architecture studio created 195 contemporary homes within four flanks of the brutalist Grade II*-listed building while preserving as much of the original fabric as possible.

Exterior of Phase 2 of Park Hill estate in Sheffield
The renovation preserves as much of the original fabric as possible

"Fantastic on so many levels"

Readers were overwhelmingly appreciative of the renovation: "Beautifully done. Calm, sensitive, demure," was Think's assessment.

"Such a remarkable benchmark for all future conservation and re-use efforts of brutalist architecture," said Ati-st. "Good design is the real essence and you can revive it simply by enhancing the material quality and workmanship."

Kevin McGrath thought that it was "Fantastic on so many levels (pardon the pun)."

Marius was less concerned about the preservation of a brutalist icon than preserving the planet's resources. "Don't move, improve. It doesn't matter if it is brutalism or any other style. Any ambition of lowering energy consumption should have existing buildings as the main focus", they commented.

What do you think of Mikhail Riches' renovation of Park Hill? Join the discussion ›

Christmas tree by Nendo for Tokyo Midtown
The Christmas tree features kinetic fluttering star-shaped cutouts

"Beautiful art evokes conversation"

Commenters reacted to Japanese design studio Nendo's polyhedral Christmas tree, featuring kinetic cutouts, which they designed for a shopping centre in Roppongi, Tokyo.

Ken Steffes reflected that "beautiful art evokes conversation and this piece has much to say".

Steve Hassler was admiring, calling the tree a "beautiful kinetic sculpture". Design Junkie agreed – "quite beautiful really", he said.

There were a few Scrooges in the comments with Jb commenting: "Nendo has again managed to suck the joy out of joyfulness".

In the festive spirit, a commenter called Santa thought the Christmas tree was simply "superb".

Would you like your presents under Nendo's tree? Join the discussion ›

Amnesty International's Peter Frankental spoke to Dezeen about Neom and The Line

"All of the issues this project gets criticized for exist in the 'developed' world"

The architecture studios designing Neom in Saudi Arabia are facing a "moral dilemma" because the project is being built "on the back of forced evictions", said Amnesty International's Peter Frankental in an exclusive interview.

Readers waded into the comment section to have their say.

"Architecture firms have been selling their souls in this part of the world for decades, ignoring, among other things, the horrific death toll among migrant workers building their project," commented Eric Schneider. "Nothing new in this case."

Sivakumar asked "Why only architects? Those who expect architects to boycott those countries should not do any business with Saudi. Is that possible? Will these human rights advocates ask Mcdonald's not to do business in Saudi?"

Architectureisfrozenfood expressed a similar sentiment: "this project is not really different from the hundreds of luxury glass towers that get built every day in the imperial core countries. All of it is funded by blood money and colonialism, built by billionaires hoarding wealth acquired via exploitative methods."

Aigoual was upvoted more than half a dozen times for maintaining that "boycotting these firms is a must".

What are your thoughts on the ethics of accepting work in Saudi Arabia? Join the discussion ›

KPMB stacked tower in Boston
KPMB Architects designed a the stacked volumes of the Centre for Computing & Data Science for Boston University

"It will prove its worth and beauty in time"

Canadian studio KPMB Architects has completed a campus building in Boston with a series of cantilevered volumes that the university said is the largest "fossil-free building" in the city.

Apsco Radiales smells greenwashing in the marketing copy. "Just because heating and cooling are done by geothermal energy, doesn't mean that the materials used to build the building did not use fossil fuels," they commented.

Meanwhile, Dario wasn't so hot on the design, saying "it looks like a bunch of boxes stacked haphazardly".

But Cameron Hood defended the project, saying "I think it’s fabulous, and applaud any Canadian firm winning a contract in the US with that amount of competition. I think it will prove its worth, and its beauty, in time."

JZ pondered these themes further in their comment: "I have a soft spot for weird, awkward, ugly-duckling buildings sometimes. Yes, the embodied carbon is high, but I also hope the lifespan of the building is indeterminant."

What do you think about this new addition to the Boston skyline? Join the discussion ›

Comments update

Dezeen is the world's most commented architecture and design magazine, receiving thousands of comments each month from readers. Keep up to date on the latest discussions on our comments page and subscribe to our weekly Debate newsletter, where we feature the best reader comments from stories in the last seven days.