3 Belgian projects make Mipim Awards finals again

Tim Harrup

Not only is Mipim finally going ahead again this year in a more normal format, but there is also something traditional about the prestigious Mipim Awards. For once again, Belgium is represented in force, with no fewer than three projects in the finals. And as usual, there was a great deal of competition, with the 13-member jury having had to select 46 projects from 21 countries (out of hundreds of entries) to go forward to the finals. This year, along with normal criteria, the jury also looked at how the projects adapt to the consequences of the pandemic on the way people live, work, shop and entertain themselves. While on the subject of the jury, it is also a matter of pride for Belgium that Serge Fautré, CEO of AG Real Estate, continues to be a jury member.

The Belgian finalists are, first of all in the Best Office and Business Development category, the BNP Paribas Fortis HQ at Montagne du Parc in Brussels. The building futuristic architecture contrasts sharply with that of the neighboring historic buildings including the Bozar. It is the work of Baumschlager Eberle Architekten, Jaspers-Eyers Architects and Styfhals. This outstanding building was with the competition coming from the USA and the UK.

Secondly, La Grande Poste at Liège, developed by Noshaq and BPI Real Estate with Altiplan Architects, has made it to the final of the Best Refurbished Building category. This heritage building dating from 101 has been rehabilitated and coverted for different uses: a food market, a micro-brewery but also a coworking center with shared offices, a start-up incubator and the communication department of Liege university.This rehabilitation project is competing with other finalists are from Slovenia, Russia and Italy.

And finally, the Best Futura project category sees two candidates from France and one from the UK in the running with ZIN project in Brussels. This redevelopment of the WTC 1 and 2 Towers in the North District is in full swing to convert the former office towers in a multi-functional project with offices, housings, a hotel and shops. This project is commissionned by Befimmo and designed by a team of architects Jaspers-Eyers Architects, 51N4E and l'AUC . For this redevelopment the circular approach is central with the preservation of the existing WTC towers and reuse of construction materials.

The winners will be selected on a 50/50 basis, with delegates’ votes cast online and on site, carrying equal weight with the jury’s own votes. In addition, the jury of real estate experts from around the world will award one additional prize – the ‘Special Jury Award’, which goes to their favourite project among all. The winners will be announced at the MIPIM Awards ceremony on Thursday 17 March starting at 18:30 in the Grand Auditorium of the Palais des Festivals of Cannes.