The Grote Markt Oostzijde project is the product of a constructive collaboration between the city of Groningen and a large number of market parties, in a complex and sensitive inner-city environment, with many different conflicting interests, while at the same time making good use of financing options. The jury highly appreciates the way in which the lessons learned have been put into practice, with particular focus on the referendum held among residents, who have supported the far-reaching plans and have since then embraced the result as their own success.
Overall, an enormously radical intervention in the city, where the need for an extensive new urban program with functions such as a cinema, library, study facilities, catering, and a hotel has been realized.
Jury chairman René Vierkant: “An urban repair of the full east side of the Grote Markt square, the creation of a new meeting place on the Nieuwe Markt, the cultural “deparment store” Forum, the relocated Vindicat-student society building, the new hotel and apartment complexes with spectacular roof terraces on all three buildings. This project has many appealing components, which together bring new impetus to this part of the city.”
Kern director Herman Kok: “As the successor to NRW Dutch Council Shopping Centres, Kern has traditionally had a strong retail profile, based on the realization that shops form an important economic and social part of the city. Given the various challenges and tasks for the retail sector as a result of strong changes in consumer behavior, Kern’s focus is mainly on how the retail function can also help to shape healthy urban areas in a sustainable way in the future. This area-oriented transformation through urban development with multiple new functions is a wonderful and inspiring example for our sector.”
The other nominated projects were:
- BoLo Amsterdam: SUM Architecten and Propertize
- Winkelcentrum Het Stroink: WP Retail Invest and Vocus Architecten
- Winkelcentrum De Korf: Van der Vorm Vastgoed and Nieuw Holland Vastgoed
- FORUM Rotterdam: Multi Netherlands, Syntrus Achmea Real Estate and Finance, a.s.r Property Fund, Multi Corporation
- House Modernes: Syntrus Achmea and NEOO
The Kern Award has been awarded annually since 1989 (first as NRW Dutch Council Shopping Centres Award, since 2022 as Kern Award) to the best multifunctional center developments in the Netherlands. The innovative character and commercial attractiveness of the project for consumers and entrepreneurs play an important role in this. The winning entry serves as a demonstrable example for the sector.
The expert jury for the Kern Award 2022 consisted of: René Vierkant, Vierders (chairman); Erna Traanberg, Traanberg Partners; Gertjan Slob, Locatus; Inge Niks, IXIN; Marcel Reinartz, RMA; Marianne Wesselo; CBRE Investment Management; Barbara Westrik, Ahold; Justin Arnolli, Green Real Estate; Micha Candel, Zeeman; Rick Zijderveld, Gemeente Den Haag; Henk Vonk, HEVO Fame.