Plans for the redesign of Nottingham City Centre have been announced, revealing a vision that establishes a new green core in an effort to help citizens reconnect with nature.
Heatherwick Studio has revealed the redevelopment plan for Nottingham city centre, a vision that reshapes the former shopping centre at the heart of the site and highlights the area’s touristic potential. Centred around an ample new green area enabling citizens to connect with nature, the project proposes new social spaces, commercial, mixed-use and residential buildings while establishing street connections around the city centre. The initiative represents an expansive vision for redefining the city centre and its programming amidst the evolution of retail towards online shopping and in response to the impact of the pandemic.
The Broadmarsh shopping centre, which was undergoing redevelopment when the pandemic hit, was handed back at the beginning of 2021 to Nottingham City Council, who launched the Big Conversation consultation to establish a new vision for the site and the broader city centre. An Advisory Group was formed, and Heatherwick Studio, together with development company Stories were commissioned to design this new vision for Broad Marsh, based on the ideas and views put forward within the consultation exercise.
“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,” explains Thomas Heatherwick.
The new green space at the heart of the development plan permeates the various areas of the site, becoming a catalyst for subsequent sustainable development. Enabling the city’s growth aspirations are a series of office and mixed-use buildings with ground-floor retail, which will attract new jobs. At the same time, the project proposes the creation of 750 homes in the vicinity of the Nottingham Castel. Some of the structural framework of the Broadmarsh shopping centre will be retained and converted into a community-oriented space centred around performance, food and play. The Vision also increases Nottingham’s touristic potential by rejuvenating its cave network, creating a new entrance and transforming the existing Severns House into a hotel.
Going further, the Council and the Advisory Group will develop a masterplan and secure the investment needed from public and private entities. According to the City Council, the redevelopment plan, which will take ten years to complete, will create 750 homes and 6000 jobs in the area. Moreover, the green space and the decision to retain the former shopping centre’s framework are in line with the city’s strategy to become the first carbon-neutral city in the UK by 2028.
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