Image: 'Broadmarsh Re-Imagined: A Green Icon for Nottingham' aerial shot.

Designing plans for the redevelopment of a major but tired space in Nottingham is no small feat, so imagine crafting these plans on your evenings and weekends. Adam Baker spoke to Josef Stoger about plans he and his two friends Loukis Menelaou and Nick Collee have designed.

Josef Stoger, 22, Hucknall, graduated from University College London last year and is now working for an architectural visualisation firm in London. Josef has lived in Nottingham for most of his life and the city clearly means a lot to him, as he said: “ Nottingham is a great city. It’s always forward thinking and usually gets overlooked.”

The ‘Broadmarsh Re-Imagined: A Green Icon for Nottingham’ project that Josef and the two friends he met at UCL have conceptualised is steeped in modernity and contains principles of practicality, aesthetics and sustainability. These are all key to their design as a team as the focus was to include some of Nottingham’s history as well as to make it a future-focused plan.

Responses to the plans have not been overarchingly positive. Some comments about the design suggest that it is too modern or “hipster” and wouldn’t work but Josef is happy that his “loud and proud” design at least got a reaction. No comment at all about his plans would have meant no discussion, which he hopes the design can spark.

Image: Josef Stoger, one of the trio of friends who designed the plans.

Josef has been passionate about design for a long time, winning the ‘Nottingham Young Creative Award for Architecture and Design’ in 2017 for one of his innovative designs.

It would mean “loads” if his plans were picked, as he stated that the Broadmarsh centre used to be so dingy and the trio’s designs- which feature vertical farms, an open air performance space, housing, workshop space and an inclusion of the proposed Nottingham museum- would, “renew hope of a forward-thinking Nottingham.”

It was important for Josef to include an open air performance area, as live music is important to him. Not only gigs but artistic expression in general as he said, “I want a free space where any performer at any level can use outdoors.”

Although these plans are mainly conceptual, Josef hopes that Nottingham City Council use them to inform their decision. As Josef and his friends do not have their own architectural firm, these plans would have to be passed onto another design firm.

There have been discussions with ‘The Nottingham Project’, who work on rejuvenation in the city, and London based architecture firm ‘Heatherwick’s Design Studio’ who have designs all over the world.

Josef said his favourite part of Nottingham was Sneinton Market. The single-story warehouse design and the outdoor space was a good example of a community environment and was similar in principle to what he wanted to envisage for The Broadmarsh Centre, as a community environment.

“This plan is like marmite”

Josef Stoger, 22, Designer of Broadmarsh Re-imagined: A Green Icon For Nottingham

The ideal outcome for Josef would be for the designs to become reality as the plans were made initially to show what could be done for the area and how innovative the area could be.

When working through university and in professional life, the trio have not always been able to design exactly what they wanted to. This is a perfect example of a project that they were passionate about and this explains why they completed it during their free time over Zoom.

For Josef, Covid-19 affected the last year of his university experience and he hopes to potentially continue with architecture on a masters course at UCL.