In Nottingham, since the start of the pandemic, the former Broadmarsh shopping center has been abandoned mid-demolition. Therefore, together with development company Stories, Heatherwick Studio proposed a new vision of the area, which pays particular attention to the activities: not just about retail, but spaces to bring people together. The proposal has been approved by the City Council, which commissioned Heatherwick Studio and Stories to work with its independent Greater Broad Marsh Advisory Group. All three parties based their interventions on ideas that emerged from a public consultation process dubbed “the Big Conversation”.
The new development sees the maintenance and integration of the mall structure to give a creative response to the site and reduce carbon emissions from construction. The total area, 20 acres in the city center, will include 750 new homes, office and conference space, ground floor retail, a green area rich of wildlife, an event space and a rejuvenation of the entrance to Nottingham’s cave network. Thomas Heatherwick said that the project had been a chance to rethink “the failure of our city centers”, but also to give them new life by creating places that can foster dialogue and be manifest of diversity and vitality.
The interior of the frame obtained from the shopping center structure will be a unique indoor/outdoor space, with a wide range of uses. There will be restaurants, a community garden, a skate ramp, a gym, a climbing wall and live entertainment. The new homes will have a prime location on the west side of the site, looking up at Nottingham Castle. The project will also rebuild lost street connections and include a new entrance to Nottingham’s cave network. The Hotel Severs House, above the caves, will be transformed into an art hotel, connected to a new culture trail through the city.
The Greater Broad Marsh Advisory Group has said the next step towards realizing the Broad Marsh project will involve masterplanning and seeking investment and will take two to three years.
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