Benoy, the international Architecture, Masterplanning, Interior and Graphic Design studio, has made a positive start to 2015. Project enquiries and new appointments have regained pre-2008 levels; this appears to be a definitive sign of the resurgent European economy.
Recent Benoy schemes in Europe are a sign of the creative and innovative, yet well-grounded, approach to revisiting retail-led projects throughout the region.
From East to West and North to South, Benoy is covering the full market, providing clients with globally renowned schemes which retain the character of the local site. Successful planning applications on several jobs will see these Benoy designs realised in the near future.
Benoy has begun construction of Centrum Chodov in Prague, the firm’s second major project for the Czech capital and built on the success of Centrum Černý Most. When extended to 93,900m2, this ‘Transit Oriented’ project will become the country’s largest commercial development and offer new retail and leisure accommodation to the highest international standards.
Benoy’s IKEA-connected mall in Brescia, Italy, has also begun construction. The two-storey enclosed 80,000m2 shopping centre follows the traditional IKEA model; trading from the current success of the ‘Blue Box’ and adding new retail and leisure space to broaden the Customer offer. Benoy can also announce success with the same client in Moscow with the appointment as Lead Architect for the new “MEGA” project in the Mytischi district. This project will be in excess of 200,000m² of net retail space and is intended to set the standard for IKEA’s expansion plans across Russia.
Also in Eastern Europe, the historically significant remodelling of the TSUM Department Store in Kiev continues; construction of the main superstructure is due for completion later this year. The original historic façade, which survived the Second World War, is being completely restored to its Constructivist origins and this heroic vocabulary has heavily influenced the new design. The ‘21st century’ retail interior will provide Kiev with a world class Department Store comprising 22,000m² of new accommodation for a mix of premium brands, a rooftop restaurants and an outdoor terrace.
Similarly, the reinterpretation of the ‘classic Department Store’ model has also informed the design of the Prado Centre, Marseille. This project of five trading levels begun construction in Q4 2014 and is planned in a visually exciting fashion around a large open atrium space. The Centre is ‘covered’ rather than traditionally enclosed and has open roof terraces accessed for the main atrium. Benoy’s exposure to this type of multi-level trading, more familiar in the East, demonstrates the connectivity of our Design Studios and our international appreciation of innovative solutions.
The recent city agreement between the city of Hamburg and MFI/Unibail-Rodamco for the project Überseerquarter, a €1 billion scheme, is primed to deliver workflow in 2015. Working in collaboration with Amsterdam practice UN Studio, Benoy has successfully completed design works to give commercial coherence to the 250,000m² mixed-use project situated within the Hafen City Development Zone and overlooking the River Elbe.
Benoy has a long established reputation for successful and innovative designs throughout its native United Kingdom and in Asia; the European portfolio, overseen by Director and Head of Europe Robert Bishop, has now developed to parallel this exposure with exciting completed and planned projects.
“Our growing European order book exemplifies Benoy’s ambition to provide our Clients with sound design in fiscally constrained environments; with the ‘commercial engine’ in place, we aim to deliver visually evocative, contextual and exciting schemes,” commented Robert.
Centrum Chodov, Brescia and TSUM are scheduled to open late 2015. Hamburg, Mytischi and Prado are planned for completion in 2018.