Urban Planning

Requalification of Bolhão distinguished by the excellence of the project

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Another distinction for the restoration and modernization work of the Mercado do Bolhão (Bolhão Market). This time, the excellence of the entire intervention process that returned that space to the city was recognized. The Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, the councillor for Urbanism and Public Space, Pedro Baganha, the vice-president of GO Porto, Cátia Meirinhos, the architect responsible for the project, Nuno Valentim, and the advisor to the market office, Francisco Rocha Antunes, received the Urban Land Institute (ULI) award this week in Copenhagen.

The focus of the ULI Europe Awards for Excellence is to recognise projects, built by the public, private or non-profit sectors, that prove to be excellent environmental examples.

The awards “celebrate excellence in land-use practices throughout the development process, with criteria that include planning, construction, economics, management, sustainability and resilience, community impact, and architecture and design”.

For this purpose, projects with financial success that are relevant to the contemporary and future needs of the community, that demonstrate environmental sustainability and that provide models or strategies that can be replicated or adapted to others are evaluated.

After being selected as a finalist, Mercado do Bolhão won the preference of the jury over the requalification projects of the historic Liberty Tower in Milan, the former Préfecture de Paris, Morland Mixité Capitale, of MULTI, which transformed the former Philips headquarters into the first carbon-neutral office building in Brussels, the "Scholen van Morgen", with the construction of 182 school infrastructures in Flanders and the Parisian Stream Building, which features a modular and adaptable construction system.

Since 1979, the Urban Land Institute has sought to recognize and reward excellence in land-use practices. Winning the award at the regional level, Mercado do Bolhão automatically enters the evaluation for the ULI Global Awards for Excellence.

It is recalled that the requalification of Mercado do Bolhão has already won several awards, among them the Nacional Reabilitação Urbana Award (with distinction in the areas of best intervention for commercial use and services, best structural rehabilitation and best intervention in the city of Porto), SIL Imobiliário (Best Urban Rehabilitation/Commerce, Services and Offices) and Construir (Best Rehabilitation Project and Best Commerce and Services Space).

It also won a silver Graphis design award in the United States. And was a finalist for the European Award – Architectural Heritage Intervention l Urban Land Institute.