And the winner is…

Forget the film industry and its winter of awards ceremonies, early summer is where it’s at in the retail sector. With the Global RLI Awards 2011 and the 2011 ICSC European Shopping Centre Awards taking place within a week of each other; investors, developers and managers have all been busy preparing entries and crossing fingers that their hard work will be rewarded.

Now at Air we know that our clients strive for quality and want to develop ground-breaking destinations, which is exactly why we want to work with them. An understanding for how design can improve a shopping centre (or any other venue for that matter), makes all the difference in the creation of a space that people want to visit and spend time in. Still, that doesn’t mean that we weren’t chuffed to learn that two of the centres we’ve worked on over the last couple of years have been recognised as shining examples in the industry.

The first is Médiacité in Liège, where Air were responsible for developing the brand, communications, signage and touchscreen systems. The Ron Arad designed centre is a striking example of how architecture can improve a landscape, with this scheme transforming 6.5 ha of brownfield land into a retail and soon-to-be production centre. It was the first shopping centre to be assessed for BREEAM Retail and will soon be connected to the new Calatrava TGV train station. As well as being incredibly successful since its opening, Médiacité has now won the Global RLI Shopping Centre Renovation of the Year Award and an ICSC European Shopping Centre Award in the Refurbishment and Extensions category! Phew! Congratulations to Wilhelm & Co and everyone involved in this regeneration project, it was clearly worth the effort!

As well as that, and a little closer to home, is the news that SouthGate Bath has received a Commendation in the New Large Developments category of ICSC European Shopping Centre Awards! We were commissioned to design the wayfinding and signage for this unusual city centre scheme which consists of buildings set out as pedestrian streets. Designed in a neo-classical style and using locally sourced stone befitting of the surrounding architecture, SouthGate Bath has remained true to the history and aesthetic of the city. Linked to local public transport hubs and with its own parking facilities, the centre is perfectly located and accessible to residents and tourists of the city. Congratulations to Multi Development, Aviva Investors and everyone else involved in this scheme, once again, the hard work really has paid off!