Inspiration In Challenging Times: Urban Land Institute Announces Four Winners of 2010 Awards For Excellence In Europe, Middle East, and Africa Competition

Winners Announced at Europe Trends Conference in London

For more information, contact:
Trisha Riggs at 202/624-7086; priggs@uli.org

LONDON (June 28, 2010) — Four exceptional developments have been selected as winners in the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Awards for Excellence: Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) competition, widely recognized as the land use industry’s most prestigious recognition program.

The competition is part of the Institute’s Awards for Excellence program, established in 1979, which is based on ULI’s guiding principle that the achievement of excellence in land use practice should be recognized and rewarded. ULI’s Awards for Excellence recognize the full development process of a project, not just its architecture or design. The criteria for the awards include leadership, contribution to the community, innovations, public/private partnership, environmental protection and enhancement, response to societal needs, and financial viability.

The winners were announced during the ULI Europe Trends Conference in London. ULI Europe, which serves 2,300 members across Europe, hosted the conference as one of its many events that helps keep the region’s property financiers, developers, architects, lenders, public officials and other real estate professionals informed about the latest trends in the land use industry.

The four winners qualify for the ULI Global Awards for Excellence competition, in which a jury of international members will select up to five winners from this year’s winning projects in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific. The global winners will be announced in Washington, DC at the ULI Fall Meeting and Urban Land Expo in October.

The EMEA competition winning projects were selected from 43 entries representing 17 countries, which were subsequently narrowed to 14 finalists. The 2010 Awards for Excellence winners (developers in parentheses) are:

  • Citilab (Fundació per la promoció de la societat del coneixement) Barcelona, Spain – Citilab is a center for social digital innovation near Barcelona and member of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL), based in what was a textile factory abandoned after the last industrial crisis. The 5000m2 development is in the middle of a neighbourhood undergoing major urban renewal and leases 1000m2 to local start-up companies and a further 1000m2 to local entrepreneurs and community associations. Citilab operates as a mix of a training center, research center and business and social incubator.
  • Mumuth Music Theatre (BIG Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H) Graz, Austria – Mumuth Music Theatre is part of a facility designed for the University of Music and Performing Arts (KUG) in Graz used by students and visitors to the theatre. The innovative ‘Blob-to-Box’ model used by architects UNStudio includes a spiral design creating column free public spaces, amongst the theatre, high-tech acoustic laboratory and restaurant areas.
  • New District “Miasteczko Wilanów” (Prokom Investments with IN-VI Investment Environments development consultant) Warsaw, Poland – Miasteczko Wilanów (MW) is the ongoing construction of a coherent neighbourhood on 169hectares within the boundaries of the city of Warsaw. A city shattered in the 20th Century by two wars, over the last two decades Warsaw has too often been developed in an opportunistic, short-term and incoherent way. MW is a long-term project, a mid rise, mixed use, socially inclusive, architecturally rich, street and pedestrian oriented district now home to a community of over 20,000 residents.
  • Palazzo Tornabuoni (Byrne Murphy at Kitebrook Partners and Jacopo Mazzei at R.D.M. Real Estate Development) Florence, Italy – Palazzo Tornabuoni is a full city block (17,000m2) mixed-use project featuring Italy’s first Private Residence Club, luxury retailers, office and restaurants. Featuring a meticulous renovation and restoration of 15th century palazzo and its 15th, 16th and 17th Century artwork the conversion maintains strong links to the urban fabric of Florence whilst presenting many new features and amenities.

The 2010 ULI Awards for Excellence: EMEA finalists were selected by a jury of renowned land use development and design experts: Ian D. Hawksworth, managing director, Capital & Counties, London; Max Barclay, head of communications and internal operations, Stronghold Invest AB, Stockholm; Luca de Ambrosis Ortigara, partner, DEA Real Estate Advisor Srl., Milan; Andrew Gould, chief executive, English business, Jones Lang LaSalle, London; Hakan Kodal, president and chief executive officer, KREA Gayrimenku/Real Estate, Istanbul; Raj Menda, managing director, RMZ Corp, Bangalore; Dr. Karsten von Koeller, chairman of Lone Star Germany and non-executive director and member of the investment committee, W.P. Carey LLC; Frankfurt.

The jury was challenged by the large number of applications and the high quality of the projects, which struck the judges as particularly significant in the current economic environment. According to Jury Chairman Hawksworth, the winners illustrate that well-designed, well-built projects can thrive even in dark economic times. “These are great examples of success that showcase creativity, innovation, and long-term thinking,” Hawksworth said. “Perhaps now more than ever, the ULI Awards for Excellence program reminds us of the key difference that responsible land use development can make, in terms of longevity and overall community sustainability.”

Over the years, the Awards for Excellence program has evolved from the recognition of one development in North America to an international competition with multiple winners. The ULI Awards for Excellence: Europe (now EMEA) was added in 2004, followed by the ULI Awards for Excellence: Asia Pacific and the Global Awards in 2005. Throughout the program’s history, all types of projects have been recognized for their excellence, including office, residential, recreational, urban/mixed-use, industrial/office park, commercial/retail, new community, rehabilitation, and public projects and programs.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (uli.org) is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.