5 projects recognized in ULI Europe awards; Piraeus Port Plaza stands out
Five outstanding real estate projects from across the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region have been announced as recipients of the 2021 ULI Europe Awards for Excellence, with another two receiving “Special Mentions”.
The winners, each of which demonstrate a comprehensive level of quality and a forward-looking approach to development and design, include two projects in the United Kingdom, and one each in Germany, Belgium, and Portugal. Further development projects in Greece and the Ukraine were selected as “Special Mentions.”
All of the equal winning projects this year have demonstrated key attributes related to flexibility, reuse and resilience in light of the challenges to real estate imposed by the global pandemic.
They were commended for becoming best practice examples in their respective areas of real estate, ranging from affordable and mixed-tenure housing; regeneration of industrial sites and community building; circular building with an emphasis on reuse and sustainability; and city/town centre regeneration.
The winning projects, in alphabetical order, are:
• EDGE Grand Central, Berlin, Germany (Developers: EDGE. Owners: Nuveen Real Estate. Designers: Bolwin Wulf Architekten): EDGE has long been heralded for driving digital innovation and sustainability in real estate and Grand Central Berlin is proof yet again of this commitment. Located next to Berlin Central Station, EDGE Grand Central Berlin makes smart use of the latest technologies, which facilitate the most efficient operation of the property. A total of around 3,500 innovative multi-sensors supply data based on different parameters for smart, needs-based and sustainable building management. The various uses of the building are supported by an IP backbone and a cloud-based building management system, in which all data is collected and analysed.
• Gare Maritime, Brussels, Belgium (Developers: Extensa Group. Owners: Extensa Group. Designers: Neutelings Riedijk Architecten; Bureau Bouwtechniek): Gare Maritime is a uniquely ambitious urban regeneration project that has repurposed a former freight station into a highly sustainable new forum to live, eat, work, play and learn. It consists of 30,000m² workspace, 10,000m² retail space, 2,500m² food & beverage space (food hall with food and beverage offerings), 7,500m² equipment space as well as other functions such as events spaces. This building, which has been redesigned by architects Neutelings-Riedijk, will be the new focal point of the entire Tour & Taxis site. The implementation and results of the Gare Maritime project are an example in circular building. The integrity of the century-old industrial building has been preserved in the redevelopment process, while its function has been modernised with durability in mind.
• Harrow Square, London, United Kingdom (Developers: Hyde New Homes / Barratt West London Joint Venture. Owners: Hyde New Homes. Designers: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)): Harrow Square is an outstanding example of how first-class architecture and urban densification can contribute positively to social equity, inclusion and community growth. It consists of a new mixed-use development in Harrow on the Hill, Greater London, with 318 apartments, a public library, retail spaces, and a new public square spread across a series of cascading low-to-mid-rise buildings. Located within walking distance of Harrow on the Hill Station, a major interchange linking rail, metro, and bus networks, Harrow Square is a transit-oriented, pedestrian-friendly development, with a diverse building programme and a contemporary, refined architectural sensibility.
• LX Factory, Lisbon, Portugal (Developers: Keys REIM. Owners: Catumbel – Investimentos Imobiliários e Turísticos, S.A.): LX Factory is an ambitious and creative project that has turned a former industrial site into a vibrant part of the City of Lisbon. Located in the area of Alcantara, the project started with the objective to host a creative hub occupied by industry professionals, restaurants and art, combined with a diverse range of events in fields such as fashion, art, architecture, and music, generating a dynamic that has created an anchor project for Lisbon and reinvented the wider area. Following the momentum created by LX Factory, the area, next to the docks, is now going through a major urbanism revitalisation with the construction of c. 80,000 square meters of a multisector green field development - residential, offices, retail, healthcare, and hospitality.
• Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration, Wokingham, United Kingdom (Developers: Wokingham Borough Council. Owners: Wokingham Borough Council. Designers: Benoy): This completed mixed-use project not only provided a focal point to the community throughout the pandemic but is also likely to be future proof as residents spend more time working from home and less time commuting into nearby employment centres including London. Closely following Wokingham Borough Council’s vision, the town centre was reimagined as a thriving destination for commerce and urban living, with modern retail formats, food and beverage, leisure and a significant quantum of residential across two mixed-use developments at Peach Place and Elms Field. Importantly this would create a much-enhanced town centre offer for 10,000 new homes being delivered at the town’s southern periphery. The combined regeneration of the two sites would anticipate creation of 750 new, local jobs, £21m in additional wages contributing to the local economy, £2m in additional annual tourism spend, affordable housing in the town centre and act as a catalyst for further regeneration.
The Jury formally recognised two further projects with “Special Mentions”, including:
• (Repurposing category) Piraeus Port Plaza, Piraeus, Greece – an interesting example of a former industrial property repurposing into a modern commercial workplace.
• (Social value category; and Creative placemaking/arts & culture/community engagement category) Promprylad.Renovation, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine – Once a blacksmith and locksmith's workshop, and a production site for space travel, electricity meters, radios, and even umbrellas, the Promprylad.Renovation project in the Ukraine has repurposed a former industrial factory site that was founded in the early 20th century.
This year’s ULI Europe Awards for Excellence winners were chosen out of 33 initial project submission and announced as part of a virtual ceremony on 8 July, bringing together real estate professionals from around the world.