The best of architectural innovation and ingenuity was on display at MIPIM 2019, as the real estate industry headed to Cannes, France, for the conference’s 30th edition from March 12 – 15.

With keynote speeches, exhibits and presentations taking place across the event, the highlight of the conference, the annual MIPIM awards took place on March 14, celebrating the most outstanding and accomplished projects, completed or yet to be built, around the world.

UnSUBURBIA has taken a look at four of these architectural wonders, and why they are deserved nominees and award winners thanks to their focus on design, ergonomics and sustainability.

Milles Arbres

Award: Best Futura Project (winner)

Located in Paris, Milles Arbes has reimagined sustainability and architectural practices to develop the city’s Pershing district. The development is part of the wider  Réinventer Paris (“Reinventing Paris”) campaign, launched by the French capital to breathe new life through identifying and developing new urban planning.

The project’s aim is to modernise the Perishing area located near to Porte Maillot through creating a multi-purpose structure that will consist of housing, office, shops, hotels and cultural facilities. Milles Arbres will also act a hub for transport too, with a new bus station and an expansion of Paris’s ring road set to feature.

But the jewel of this award-winning project’s crown is the rooftop, where a focus on nature makes it distinguishable compared to any other building in Paris. Over a thousand trees will line Milles Arbres’s roof, surrounding the 127 low energy density apartments – after all, its name does translate to “a thousand trees”. This innovative park in the sky is the first of its kind, and expect it to change the ideology towards urban developments in Paris for years to come.


Award: Best Futura Project (nominee)

Arguably the most ambitious global development on show at MIPIM, Japanese architecture firm Sumitomo Forestry is proposing to build a 70-storey hybrid timber skyscraper by 2041.

In honour of the firms 350th anniversary, the concepts for W350 highlight that the skyscraper will be a hybrid structure made of 90 per cent timber, with 185,000m3 of wood planned to be used for its construction. A braced steel tube system will be used to support the gargantuan structure, using steel and timber columns and beams.

Sumitomo Forestry wants to create “environmentally-friendly and timber-utilising cities where they become forests through increased use of wooden architecture for high-rise buildings” – it’s about devising a natural blueprint within an urbanised environment. The exterior of the building will have pops of greenery to create a view of biodiversity, whereas the interior structure will be pure wood to allow for peace and calmness.

At an estimated cost of £4.2bn, it’ll cost twice the amount of a conventional high-rise building, however the plan is to reduce these costs through innovating new technology to allow for timber work to be completed more efficiently.

Zaryadye рark

Award: Special Jury Award (winner)

A symbol of modern-day Moscow, Zaryadye is a new cultural attraction and pedestrian networking link, open to new people, ideas and technologies. This state of-the-art park was commissioned to create a precedence for all of Russia’s public spaces – it was about combining the natural history of the country with new ideologies for the future.

Zaryadye is unique compared to other parks in Russia. Large, open recreational spaces have been replaced for smaller boundaries, differing levels and bounds of botanic. There are no fences, walls or gateways within the park to figuratively and metaphorically show that this place is accessible for everyone. The pavilions dotted across the park are created using ‘invisible architecture’ to blend effortlessly into the landscape.

Across the park, there are 760 trees, 7,000 shrubs, 860,000 perennials and 150,000 annual plants, all coming from varying regions around Russia. Spread across four different ‘zones’, each area brings a diverse botanical feel to the next to give a different landscape view of Zaryadye for every route taken.

Future Park

Award: Best Futura Mega Project (winner)

In the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, Future Park is bringing innovative ideas to a rural backdrop. The park, heralded by architects as “one of the UK’s most significant cultural and energy-efficient attractions to be built in the 21st century”, is set to create a food and drink experience like no other in the world.

Future Park, Yorkshire from Future Park on Vimeo.

The design of Future Park is aimed at effortlessly becoming a part of the Yorkshire landscape, rather than being a standout feature. Built around an existing lake, the development’s low linear structure hugs the edge of the water at the park’s lowest side to amplify the surrounding views.

A unique concept which celebrates biodiversity of cuisine, Future Park will allow visitors to immerse themselves to innovative technologies and experience farming first hand. It’s an architectural and experiential gem in the most unassuming of locations.