Shopping center ruins being transformed into greenery filled space
As retail habits have changed over time, many shopping centers and malls have fallen into disrepair, and it can be difficult to know what to do with the hulking structures. As part of a wider redevelopment project in Nottingham, England, Heatherwick Studio has hit upon the idea of transforming one part-demolished shopping center into a new greenery-filled space that hosts retail, leisure and fitness facilities.
The Broad Marsh project, which brings to mind MVRDV's similar Tainan Spring, is being created in collaboration with developer Stories. The project will also involve redevelopment of a sprawling inner-city site measuring 20 acres (8 ha) that will be anchored by the shopping center. This was actually in the process of being demolished when the challenges of COVID-19 led to the bankruptcy of the company originally handling its removal.
"The challenge of what to do with the former Broadmarsh shopping center has been a chance to think about the failure of our city centers," said studio head Thomas Heatherwick. "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 centers. 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 centers."
The concrete framework's interior will host a boxing gym, a large net play area, a climbing wall, restaurants, retail spaces, plus smaller community spaces and market stalls, all of which will be broken up by greenery. It looks like quite a nice place to spend time in the images provided and a far cry from its current sad-looking state.
Elsewhere, as part of the wider development, Heatherwick Studio plans to create a large new green area measuring 8.6 acres (3.5 ha) that will be covered in plants, trees and other greenery. The project will also involve the creation of 750 new homes and over 400,000 sq ft (roughly 37,000 sq m) of new business and office space. Additionally, there will be a new entrance created for Nottingham's network of caves and the refurbishment of an existing hotel.
Plans are still in the early stages and it could take up to a decade to realize fully, assuming all goes well. Heatherwick Studio does have an excellent track record with these types of projects though, having also produced the Coal Drops Yard and 1000 Trees shopping centers.
Source: Heatherwick Studio