The NEPROM Prize 2021 has been won by Grote Markt Oostzijde Groningen. This was announced by jury chairman Hubert Bruls and Josja van der Veer during a live broadcast from the Fokker Terminal in The Hague. The prize, which was awarded for the ninth time, is presented every two years to a municipality and a market player who have jointly realized a high-quality location through good cooperation. The winning location development Grote Markt Oostzijde concerns a long-term collaboration between the municipality of Groningen and developers VolkerWessels and MPWO.
Comprehensive area development
The Grote Markt is located in the heart of the city of Groningen. The east side of it, severely damaged in the Second World War, had become an unattractive area due to the sum total of interventions. New life has been breathed into the location by the development of various building blocks and the redesign of part of the Grote Markt and approaching streets. Most striking is the new Forum, which includes the library, movie theaters, exhibition spaces, restaurants, a large underground parking garage and numerous other facilities. Other important components of the area development include The Market Hotel with 123 hotel rooms and catering facilities, Merck with 18 apartments for sale and the new accommodation for the Vindicat student club.
The living room of the city
According to the jury, the city of Groningen has put itself on the map again with this area development, in the tradition of the Groninger Museum, among others. The public Forum building is accessible to everyone and proves to be a huge crowd puller. In the other parts, too, commercial and social functions alternate, with space also being given to local talent. For example, young architects have been given the opportunity - at the invitation of the municipality - to contribute their design strength.
In addition to the winner, four other site developments were nominated for the award: Kerckebosch, from WijkOntwikkelingsMaatschappij Kerckebosch, housing corporation Woongoed Zeist and municipality of Zeist; Strijp-R, from Amvest and municipality of Eindhoven, Little C, from Era Contour, J.P. van Eesteren, Bouwinvest and municipality of Rotterdam; De Hallen, from TROM, Coöperatie OntwerpJeWoning and municipality of Amsterdam. The jury emphasizes that the other nominated projects are also good examples of high-quality location developments that are in line with the challenges of our time. In total there were 17 entries.
The jury of the NEPROM prize for location development 2021 consists of Hubert Bruls (Mayor of Nijmegen. Vice President VNG), Josja van der Veer (Director of Space & Sustainability, Amsterdam municipality), Geurt van Randeraat (Director SITE Urban Development), Maria Piels (architect, Indo), Roel van de Bilt (Director Rabobank Real Estate Finance), Ingrid de Boer (Director-Director Woonbedrijf, winning market party NEPROM prize 2019), Yasin Torunoglu (Alderman of Eindhoven municipality, winning municipality NEPROM prize 2019).
Encouraging cooperation between government and market
NEPROM, the association of property developers, wants to use the award to emphasize the great importance of good cooperation between government authorities and market parties for the high-quality development of locations.