an urban response to the pandemic
following the outbreak of COVID-19, the city of nottingham called on heatherwick studio to reimagine its partially demolished broadmarsh shopping center. now, the team unveils first images of its 20-acre project which will see the preservation and reuse of the shopping center’s derelict frame. further, the project will bring new life to the city’s unique network of caves, boosting tourism and the area’s world heritage status.
the masterplan is timely, as the pandemic and growth of online retailing has taken a measurable toll on brick-and-mortar shopping. the proposed development is expected to deliver 6,000 jobs, over 400,000 square feet of commercial and business space, along with 750 new homes.
the city’s new green heart by heatherwick
heatherwick studio (see more here) along with socially responsible developer stories were commissioned by nottingham’s ‘greater broad marsh advisory group’ to reimagine the derelict broadmarsh shopping center. the vision will rebuild lost connections, reinstating many of the city’s lost street connections and rebuild them for the future of the city, physically and historically connecting the center as a whole.
at the heart of the vision is the creation of a so-called green heart. this wildlife-rich green space, which will permeate the whole site and weave in and out of the frame, will create a beautiful, tranquil core for the city and a high quality public realm.
living by the nottingham castle
heatherwick studio proposes 750 new homes just yards from the famous robin hood statue which will look up at nottingham castle. located within walking distance of the train station, these will be prime destination homes in the heart of the city. meanwhile, new commercial and mixed use buildings will drive the city’s growth. these high end business and office spaces, will have the capacity to accommodate over 3,000 jobs.
the creative response from heatherwick studio is to retain part of the structural frame of the broadmarsh shopping center and give it a new life and significance. inside the frame will be a space like no other, totally unique to the city. under the key themes of play, performance and food, it could provide a place with a diverse range of uses that brings people together.
sleep above the caves in a new art hotel
the vision proposes to rejuvenate nottingham’s unique cave network creating a new entrance and transforming the existing ‘severns house’ into a hotel, providing the opportunity for tourists to sleep right above the caves and forming part of a new heritage and culture trail through the city center.
thomas heatherwick comments: ‘the challenge of what to do with the former broadmarsh shopping centre has been a chance to think about the failure of our city centres. they should be about bringing people together, not just about retail. rather than demolish the structure, we are proposing to keep the frame and breathe new life into it, creating a place that can hold the diversity and vibrancy that is so lacking from many city centres. the aim is to bridge between generations, communities, and cultures so that the new broad marsh can reflect the true diversity of the city.
‘in the fog of COVID-19, nottingham has seized the opportunity to create a new blueprint for the future of city centres.’