Belgium and Luxembourg projects in Mipim Awards finals

Tim Harrup

In common with many previous years, Belgian projects (and one from Luxembourg) have been selected for the prestigious ‘Mipim Awards’ finals, with winners being selected by a combination of the votes of the professional jury’ and the public at the show. Merely to have made it to the finals is an achievement in itself, as around 180 projects were submitted from all around the world and only 43 retained.

In addition to usual criteria, this year, the jury focused on how projects seek to enhance the built environment’s prospects in line with ESG goals. The six key criteria are sustainability, integration of the project in its environment and community, quality of the user experience, economic contribution, originality of the concept, and architectural qualities. This notion is perhaps best reflected in the ‘Best Alternative Project’ category (in which two Belgian projects have been selected) which clearly focuses on a project’s purpose, not just on the architectural qualities of a specific building or complex.

The Belgian and Luxembourg representatives are as follows:

Best Alternative Project:

Brussels, Belgium
Architect: 51N4E
Developer: D’Ieteren Immo

This project represents around 20,000 m² dedicated to cultural activities and the circular economy, located on the Chaussée de Mons in Anderlecht. It aims to improve the local life, to be a meeting point and to focus on short circuit production. It also represents an early success for one of the most recent developers on the scene, D’Ieteren Immo, founded in 2016 as a branch of the well-established automobile concession.

Scholen Van Morgen
Flanders, Belgium
Architect: 70 different national and international architects
Developer: Flemish Government, AG Real Estate, BNP Paribas Fortis
Other: 40+ MEP and 40+ structural engineering companies ; 20+ general contractors.

This project involves the development, building and financing of over 180 schools along a 30 year period, across the whole of Flanders and in Brussels. Once again it is the purpose of the project (to improve education) rather than any particular architectural feature, which has been recognised.

Best Residential Project:

Zottegem, Belgium
Architect: Studio Farris Architects
Developer: Vanhout Projects

In the centre of Zottegem, this project sees the redevelopment of a college first built in 1862 into 65 apartments.

Best Office and Business Project:

POST Luxembourg Headquarters
Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Architect: Metaform architects
Developer: Post Luxembourg

This is a total redevelopment of a building dating from the 1940’s and totaling around d 27,000 m². The façade is a listed heritage monument and is retained.

Earlier this year, Mipim also announced first of its major speakers including Professor Jeremy Rifkin, an American economic and social theorist and author of 20 bestselling books, who will open Mipim with a keynote speech.