Regenboogpark in Tilburg has been awarded a prestigious European prize for property development. The awards under the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Europe Award for Excellence programme were presented on 10 June during the ULI Pan European Trends Conference in Madrid. The prize was accepted by Hans Janssen, Alderman for Land Management of the Municipality of Tilburg, and Pierre Slabbers, Director of developer AM Wonen in Eindhoven.
As winner of one of the European prizes, Regenboogpark qualifies for the ULI Global Awards, for which 15 projects in the United States and Europe have been nominated. These awards will be presented in New York in November this year. “I see this award as recognition of our many years’ effort to turn this difficult site into a good place to live”, says Els Aarts-Engbers, Alderwoman for Spatial Planning, who was jointly responsible for the development of the project.
The development of Regenboogpark, a ‘green’ residential area in the centre of Tilburg, was complicated by serious soil contamination. The skill, in terms of both urban planning and architecture, with which the 139 homes had been incorporated into the existing cityscape earned high praise from the jury. The housing was designed by Architecten Werkgroep in Tilburg.
This was the first time that prizes under the ULI Europe Award for Excellence programme had been awarded. Of the 42 entries, eleven plans were nominated, including two in the Netherlands: the World Trade Center in Amsterdam and Regenboogpark in Tilburg. The other nominated projects were in Birmingham, Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, Prague, Leipzig and London. The Regenboogpark project was submitted to the ULI by the developer, AM Wonen.
The ULI jury, which came to Tilburg for a presentation on the plan and the development approach and a visit to the Regenboogpark project, was particularly impressed by the close cooperation between the Municipality and AM Wonen, which worked together for a long period to transform a badly contaminated site of a former textile mill into a high-quality and varied residential zone. In the jury’s words: “The completed project exemplifies how government, developers and end-users can turn a nightmare into a dream.”
The ULI, which was formed in the United States in 1936, has been active in Europe and Asia for some years. Its members, described as “community builders, people who develop and redevelop neighbourhoods, business districts and communities (…) around the world”, come from organisations which are involved in development projects via various disciplines (architecture, finance, technology, investment, development). In the United States, the institute has been awarding its prestigious prizes, under the ULI Awards for Excellence programme for “outstanding development projects throughout the world”, since 1979.
As well as the Regenboogpark in Tilburg, four other European projects received awards: Bullring and Brindleyplace in Birmingham, Casa de les Punxes and Diagonal Mar in Barcelona and Promenaden in Leipzig.