Five outstanding developments have been selected as winners of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) 2009 Awards for Excellence: Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)  competition. This year, the competition also included the announcement of two special award winners. The Awards for Excellence competition is widely regarded as the land use industry’s most prestigious recognition program.
The winners were announced today during an Awards for Excellence ceremony hosted in London by ULI EMEA, which serves nearly 2,600 members across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India.
The awards 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 success.
The 2009 ULI EMEA Awards for Excellence winning projects were selected from among 39 entries representing 17 countries. The winners (owners and/or developers in parentheses) are:
• Akaretler Row Houses/W Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey (Akaretler Turizm Yatirimlari A.ª.). In the heart of the business and hotel district of Istanbul, the original Akaretler Row Houses were built in 1875 by the order of Sultan Abdülaziz as an annex to Dolmabahçe Palace for the accommodation of palace staff. The historic renovation of these houses led the revitalization of an abandoned district now featuring office space, retail and residential areas, and the W Istanbul Hotel. Its ideal location allows a minute’s walk to a variety of museums, theaters, and restaurants.
• Elm Park, Dublin, Ireland (Radora Developments Ltd.). Elm Park is a low-energy-use, high-density, mixed-use project comprising a private hospital, a hotel, offices, apartments, housing for seniors, plus cafés and sandwich bars, all in a richly landscaped parklike setting on eight hectares (20 acres). The initial plans called for a minimization of energy demand, which was achieved by capitalizing on the benefits of building orientations, using natural light and ventilation, and creating a large public landscape.
• Hilton Tower, Manchester, U.K. (the Beetham Organization). At 169 meters (554 feet) and 48 floors, this is the U.K.’s tallest mixed-use building and a spectacular addition to Manchester’s skyline. The 4,600-square-meter (50,000-sq-ft) development comprises 219 luxury apartments and a 279-bed Hilton Hotel on a site of less than 0.5 hectares (1.2 acres). This iconic project creates a visual connection between the city’s south and the center.
• Leoben Judicial Complex, Leoben, Austria (BIG-Services, Immobilienmanagementgesellschaft des Bundes mbH). A new approach for a penal system, this complex includes a court building and an integrated prison for 200 inmates. It serves as a model of design for the Austrian penal system with its open design, which creates a sense of transparency. It is all designed with a focus on human dignity while satisfying all safety requirements and giving the city a new and beautiful building.
• Mountain Dwellings, Copenhagen, Denmark (Hoepfner and Danish Oil Company). Mountain Dwellings was designed to be two-thirds parking and one-third living. Rather than constructing two separate, adjacent buildings, it was decided that the two functions needed to be merged to create a symbiotic relationship. This project offers a multistory parking structure as the foundation for 80 housing units integrated into one ten-story building with optimized solar orientation, natural ventilation, and on-site rainwater collection used in the landscaped roof garden areas.
The Special Award winners were chosen in recognition of their unique scope and context; exceptionally large scale; and exemplary practice in terms of design, sustainability, and community engagement.
The Special Award winners are (owners and/or developers in parentheses):
• American University in Cairo New Campus, Cairo, Egypt (AUC). The university’s new campus is located at the center of New Cairo City, about 40 kilometers (20 miles) east of the current campus in downtown Cairo. It is designed to be a tool and stimulus in itself for learning and to anchor community development around the university. The 105-hectare (260-acre) virgin desert site has been developed into 200,000 square meters (2.2 million sq ft) of energy-efficient housing and academic, administrative, and student life facilities.
• Liverpool One, Liverpool, U.K. (Grosvenor). A transformational £1 billion ($1.6 billion), 17-hectare (42-acre) mixed-use development in the Liverpool city center, Liverpool One is an open development that retains many of the street patterns long familiar to shoppers and visitors to the city. However, through comprehensive redevelopment, the city center now has 160 retail shops, 23,000 square meters (250,000 sq ft) of leisure space, a two-hectare (5-acre) park, apartments, hotels, and a new bus interchange. This open development creates a link between the west and east sides of the city while revitalizing the city center, which has suffered from underinvestment and decline in recent decades.
The competition is part of the Institute’s Awards for Excellence program, established in 1979, which is based on ULI’s guiding principle that achievement of excellence in land use practice should be recognized and rewarded.
Over the years, the Awards for Excellence program has evolved from recognition of one development in North America to an international competition with multiple winners. In 2004, the program added the ULI Awards for Excellence: Europe, which later expanded to include entries from the Middle East and Africa; in 2005, the program added the ULI Awards for Excellence: Asia Pacific, and the Global Awards. 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.
The 2009 ULI Awards for Excellence: EMEA winners were selected by a jury of land use development and design experts. Members were Ian D. Hawksworth, managing director, Capital & Counties, London; Patrick Albrand, managing director, Hines France, Paris; Max Barclay, head of communications and internal operations, Stronghold Invest AB, Stockholm; Luca de Ambrosis Ortigara, partner, Realty Partners SRL, Milan; Andrew Gould, chief executive, Jones Lang LaSalle England, London; Hakan Kodal, president and chief executive, KREA Gayrimenku/Real Estate, Istanbul; and Karsten von Koeller, chairman, Lone Star Germany, and non-executive director and member of the investment committee, W.P. Carey LLC, Frankfurt.
“These are wonderful examples of success that showcase creativity, innovation, and long-term thinking,” jury chair Hawksworth said. “Perhaps now more than ever, the ULI Awards for Excellence program reminds us of the key difference that responsible design and development can make in terms of longevity and overall community sustainability.”
More information about ULI’s Awards for Excellence program is available at www.uli.org/awardsandcompetitions .
About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org ) is a global 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 35,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.