October 05, 2021 Project of the Week
Project Name: U.S. Consulate General
Company Name: Richärd Kennedy Architects
Project Location: Matamoros, Mexico
Project Information/Details: The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ (OBO) new Consulate General project in Matamoros was awarded the International Architecture Award alongside the world’s best new buildings and urban planning projects from over 35 nations. The project showcases OBO’s commitment to innovation in the design of diplomatic campuses overseas. The Chicago Athenaeum, with The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and Metropolitan Arts Press, Ltd., organizes The International Architecture Awards to honor and recognize international projects that exemplify excellence in architecture, project planning, and urbanism from a global point of view. The U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros, designed by Richärd Kennedy Architects and constructed by B.L. Harbert International with Page Architects as the architect of record, was recognized for its superior design leadership and pioneering architectural vision in the Government Building sector.
September 28, 2021 Project of the Week
Project Name: XXL Energy-Positive Activity Park
Company Name: GROUPE IDEC
Project Location: Antequera, Spain
Project Information/Details: GROUPE IDEC and PUERTO SECO ANTEQUERA (PSA) are proposing a new large-scale development in southern Andalusia. Ideally located at the crossroads between the ports of Malaga and Algeciras, and the Atlantic and Mediterranean railway corridors, it positions itself as the new benchmark XXL logistics and industrial zone in Spain. Thanks to its first-class infrastructure and direct access to major transport networks, it benefits from every asset to allow it to support the development of logistics and industrial activities in Spain reaching out to Europe and the rest of the world including, in particular, the ports in North Africa. Thought out from the outset with an ambitious virtuous approach, it aims to achieve a carbon-neutral footprint and make it possible, thanks to a range of sustainable sources of energy integrated in the Park, to produce more energy than it will consume. A strategic location Located in the south of Spain, this park with port status is positioned as a strategic interchange hub. It benefits from all the advantages offered by Andalusia region, the country’s second largest and most heavily populated region. Antequera dry port is situated in the heart of Spain’s leading maritime zone and of Europe’s fifth port zone. It benefits from the proximity of the ports of Algeciras, Malaga and Cadiz offering it access to the traffic passing through the Strait of Gibraltar which channels the greatest concentration of maritime exchanges in the world. Furthermore, these ports are positioned at the meeting point between two railway corridors on the Atlantic and Mediterranean axes. They also benefit from privileged access to Europe and Africa in particular, and also to America and Asia from the Mediterranean and the Atlantic which makes it an ideal entry or exit gateway. Energy, a new resource This park also adopts an innovative environmental approach and a sustainable energy dimension. It is perfectly integrated into its environment and uses the natural resources that it has at its disposal. In this way it aims to achieve energy autonomy and limit its carbon footprint as much as possible through its energy mix. To achieve this the buildings will be built with sustainable materials that enter into a circular economy model. Furthermore, all the energy produced locally can be pooled by all of the zone’s future users thanks to a complete geothermal system on the scale of the park. It will be possible to share or store any surplus energy produced, or to redistribute it on the national power grid. The park will capitalise on the wind, water and sun to produce sustainable energy. The possibility of installing a hydrogen power plant is being examined. A multi-activity park PUERTO SECO ANTEQUERA enters into a mixed activity rationale. By proposing logistics, industrial and service facilities in one and the same zone, along with a variety of infrastructures, the teams at GROUPE IDEC are planning to provide a rich and varied space. This approach favours exchanges between the businesses on the same park, and enables the deployment of shared solutions and services. Logistics will occupy a large part owing to the ideal location offered by this port because of its geographical position. The agribusiness sector will also have an important role to play in the park. Cadiz being Spain’s largest fishing port, and Algeciras the largest port through which the fruit and vegetables pass on their way out of North Africa, Antequera dry port enjoys a choice location in this sector owing to its proximity to those ports. Foreman control loading Containers box High added-value services and assets This park also proposes high added-value services and assets. Notably it will facilitate the installation of a training centre in an Employment Centre dedicated to the logistics professions, which will make it possible to support people looking for work locally and to create about 3,000 jobs. A programme will be put in place between the various companies present in the Employment Centre to pool jobs, which will help to secure precarious jobs and meet the seasonality of certain activities present in the heart of the zone. With a view to promoting research and innovation at the port and create an innovative and connected ecosystem, strategic collaborations with universities and research centres will be set up to put the latest technologies at the service of logistics. Furthermore, the park’s port zone status will enable businesses to benefit from a system where taxes and customs duties will only be payable when the products leave the zone, which has an impact on cashflow management. A project developed jointly with private- and public-sector players This project has benefitted greatly from the support of the government of Andalusia which is extensively involved, in particular declaring this zone an “Area of Public Interest”, which has enabled the rapid urbanisation of the 300 hectares of land. It has also proposed the implementation of major infrastructure projects, a connection to the freight rail network and the development of road access thanks to the construction of a new motorway interchange. For this project, a joint initiative with the Andalusia Public Ports Agency has enabled the park to obtain port zone status which offers it all the advantages inherent to that status. Launch of the construction works The construction works on Antequera dry port began in June. The port will eventually cover more than 300 hectares of land, making 372,000 sq.m of buildable land available for the first phase of the project. This stage will be organised around a 196,000 sq.m multimodal railway terminal and other buildings.
September 21, 2021 Project of the Week
Project Name: Design District
Company Name: Design District
Project Location: London, England
Project Information/Details: A permanent home for the creative industries, Design District comprises 16 buildings by eight pioneering architects, one minute from North Greenwich Underground station. With studios, floors, or entire buildings available from £5 per sqft for the first 12 months, the district offers affordable spaces, comprehensive facilities and flexible leases – everything creative Londoners need to build back their business after Covid. Happening in conjunction with London Design Festival and London Fashion Week, Design District’s opening will be marked with a special launch-night celebration on the 15th from 7pm, featuring music and performances, and by Design District Creates – an wide-ranging programme of insightful design talks, behind-the-scenes architecture tours and eye-opening exhibitions taking place throughout the month. With affordable spaces, comprehensive facilities and flexible leases, everything is designed to help creative Londoners thrive. View from the top of Design District’s C1 building to the O2 and Canary Wharf. Comprising a deliberately eclectic medley of 16 buildings by eight world-leading architects, Design District was initially conceived by Knight Dragon to provide a permanent, purpose-designed home for London’s creative industries. As the economic impact of coronavirus hit the creative sector especially hard, the district’s role has expanded – not only is it intended to be a hub for the sector, it also aims to facilitate its economic recovery, providing affordable, flexible workspace to individuals and enterprises and giving them the breathing space to build back and grow. For example, this year, for the first 12 months of their tenancy, every business taking up residence in one of the district’s 16 buildings is paying just £5 per square foot for its workspace. Design District's founding vision is of a symbiotic ecosystem of creative-industry businesses and individuals – an artistic, technological and cultural hub, where creative professionals from all disciplines can share ideas, make new connections and be inspired. Central to this is the district’s capacity to support creative businesses through all stages of growth and nurture creative professionals throughout every point in their careers. Ravensbourne University’s new Institute of Creativity & Technology is there to provide practical vocational education in the creative industries. Members’ club Bureau offers affordable and flexible workspaces and business support to freelancers and small studios; then, as enterprises grow, there are offices, large studios, or even entire buildings available to accommodate them. Companies will find everything – and everyone – they need on their doorstep: small businesses can turn to the print shop downstairs; new product brands will only be a building or two away from a stylist for their shoots or a developer for their website. Whether they are making artwork, designing UX, developing radical new products, or contributing in some other way to the UK’s rich creative landscape, Design District businesses will find themselves at the heart of a diverse, supportive and forward-thinking community that will encompass 1,800 people when the district is fully occupied. Now, as the countdown to launch begins and the first wave of tenants is confirmed, Design District’s vision of an interdependent and mutually supportive community in which all can thrive is becoming reality.