Nottingham practice GT3 looks to turn shopping landmark into a mixed-use commercial, leisure and residential hub

Nottingham-based GT3 Architects has created a vision for redeveloping the city’s vacant grade II-listed Debenhams department store with a towering extension that would double its current floorspace and deliver new homes, creative space and a hotel.

The store closed its doors for the final time in May 2021 and building owner Longmead Capital has been in discussions with the city council over the future of the site.

GT3 said it had speculatively drawn up concept proposals to add six new storeys to the vacant Old Market Square building in a bid to give the structure a new lease of life and create dynamic new uses.

Its 12-storey scheme would deliver four floors of apartments, a five-star hotel across three storeys, a single-storey media centre, and at least two floors of office accommodation. There would also be a pavilion and a roof terrace, shops and a food hall.

GT3 did not specify the quantum of space the development dubbed Nottingham House – would offer but said it would be double that currently on the site. Its visuals feature the department store’s pre-Debenhams “Griffin & Spalding” name.


Source: GT3 Architects

The practice said increasing the number of businesses based in Nottingham city centre – and footfall levels – was vital for regeneration, job-creation and restoring historic landmarks for future use.

“Debenhams is no exception, and we firmly believe high quality architectural intervention can be achieved through gentle density that softens imposing buildings and by involving local commerce,” it said.

GT3’s speculative proposals also incorporate the smaller building on Long Row that Is next door to the former Debenhams branch.

The concept envisages converting it into a pub and cultural centre named The Mikado , in reference to a café that stood nearby 70 ago.

Debenhams Nottingham 2010

Source: Matt Buck/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Nottingham branch of Debenhams, pictured in 2010, just over a decade before its closure.