The 1960s concrete block has been hailed as the most ambitious inner-city development of its time and a visionary piece of modernist architecture.
But by the 1980s it was being condemned as an eyesore, having become dilapidated and notorious for drugs and crime.
English Heritage surprised Park Hill’s critics by giving the entire complex Grade II-listed status in 1997, making it Europe’s largest listed building and preventing it from being demolished.
The decision was hailed by those who regarded it as a building of architectural importance, and the structure is now being given a £134m makeover by developer Urban Splash.
It added: “Besides, getting rid of it is not a sustainable solution, not when it can be saved, repaired and made good again.”
Phase one of the project is complete and has now been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize, the Royal Institute of British Architects’ highest accolade.
The architects have kept the structure of the building in place and the wide, long walkways dubbed “streets in the sky” remain, but the external brickwork has been replaced with bright aluminium.
Judges said the reinvented building “stands as a beacon for imaginative regeneration, quality mass housing and the bold reuse of a listed building”.
In true Park Hill style, reaction to the announcement has been mixed.