Colour Blocks Pattern Design
Colour Blocks Pattern
Park Hill Inspiration
The colour blocks design was inspired by a partially renovated estate of brutalist flats at Park Hill in Sheffield. Built between 1957 and 1961, shown here before (1) and after (2) the renovation.
I was interested in the rhythmic pattern structure of the building and how this could be emulated using a simplified grid of squares (3).
Stretching The Grid
Stretching the grid of squares wider (4) made a series of long rectangles – more reminiscent of Park Hill.
Adding Another Layer
The final layer was a paler duplicate of the wider squares (5) shunted along to create a rhythm.
Used on Upholstery
The final stretched designs have a feel of woven fabric or perhaps tartan. Maybe they also have a look of London Transport’s tube train upholstery. I have shown them as flat designs rather than in a location. This pattern would work on upholstery, or perhaps thick curtains, or even throws.
The History Of Park Hill
Park Hill was previously the site of back-to-back houses facing the streets, backing onto other houses facing into an internal court-yard. There were shared privies, not connected to mains drainage. One standpipe supported up to 100 people. It was known as “Little Chicago” in the 1930s, due to the incidence of violent crime there.
Radical Change After The War
Following the war it was decided a radical scheme was needed to deal with rehousing the Park Hill community. Work began work in 1953 designing the Park Hill Flats. Inspired by Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation and Golden Lane in London, the deck access scheme was viewed as revolutionary at the time.
Neighbours Kept Together
To maintain a strong sense of community, neighbours were re-homed next door to each other and even old street names from the area were re-used.
Renovation By Urban Splash
A part-privatisation scheme is now underway by the developer Urban Splash in partnership with English Heritage. They plan to turn the flats into upmarket apartments, business units and social housing.
Modern Pared-Back Styling
The renovated apartments have a mix of stripped-back bare concrete combined with new smart all white walls. The revival of the Mid-Century Modern look has made the homes fashionable and desirable.