Two SOM projects, Denver Union Station and the Knowledge and Innovation Community, have been named finalists in the 2015 Global Awards for Excellence competition, organized by the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The annual awards program recognizes projects that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction, economics, planning, and management. From the 22 finalists, a jury will select a group of winners, which will be announced in October at the ULI’s 2015 Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
Denver’s historic Union Station is a Beaux Arts masterpiece located on the edge of the city’s central business district. SOM expanded and transformed this station by converting 20 acres of former rail yards into an urban transit district. The design orchestrates light rail, commuter and intercity rail, bicycle and bus routes, and pedestrian pathways into an intuitive intermodal hub. The LEED® certified station is expandable to grow alongside the city and surrounding neighborhood, as well as walkable and accessible to accommodate visitors. The regional multi-modal transit hub expertly combines environmental sustainability with historic preservation.
Located in Yang Pu, a thriving tech district in northeast Shanghai, the Knowledge and Innovation Community is a series of low-rise buildings surrounded by large public plazas. Encompassing research, retail, and office space, along with cultural elements, the complex creates a vibrant place where new ideas can flourish and be brought to market. Glazed buildings along the site’s eastern edge provide light-filled offices for emerging companies, while larger stone structures accommodate established businesses. Anchoring the north and south ends are a conference center and retail and educational buildings that help energize the area and attract visitors from nearby universities as well as an adjacent tech park.
“This year’s finalists were selected from an impressive group of international submissions that have each added value to their larger community,” said jury chair Michael Covarrubias, chairman and chief executive officer of TMG Partner, a development company in San Francisco. “This diverse group of projects illustrates how the intersection of financial feasibility, design, and a vision for comprehensive development define essential qualities of life in the neighborhoods and areas they serve.”