2017 highlights: Chapman Taylor goes from strength to strength

Chapman Taylor delivered another strong global performance in 2017. There has been much to celebrate, including the opening of two of the largest retail and leisure schemes in the world. The first was the 500,000m² Jiangnan Global Harbor in Changzhou, China, which opened in September 2016 and features an extraordinary array of retail and F&B, a themed hotel and a large rooftop urban farm, as well as an 80-metre-diameter Ferris wheel as its principal visual feature.

The second was the highly anticipated Mall of Qatar, which officially opened in April. At 500,000m², it is a major project in every way, providing visitors with 500 stores, 100 restaurants, 7,000 parking spaces, a premium Carrefour hypermarket, a family entertainment area featuring KidzMondo and a mall with double-height flagship stores from across the globe. It also includes 19 cinema screens, including the largest IMAX laser 3D in the world, and a five-star fashion hotel operated by Curio Collection Hilton. The defining feature of the Mall of Qatar is the ‘Oasis’, a landscaped 30-metre-high entertainment atrium. Within this space, the 50-strong in-house troupe deliver live family entertainment all year on a 360-degree custom-developed revolving and multi-lift stage.

The Mega Silk Way retail centre in Astana, Kazakhstan, part of EXPO 2017, was opened by the country’s president in March 2017. The Huma Eleven shopping centre in Vienna opened in full in September 2017, after the completion of its second phase of development. The Norwegian prime minister laid the foundation stone for the Chapman Taylor-masterplanned Winter Village at Lørenskog, Norway, in August 2017 – the world’s largest indoor ski arena – while the industrial heritage renovation at NOI Techpark, a major science and technology park in Bolzano, Italy, opened in October 2017, as did the Plaza Rio 2 shopping centre, central Madrid's largest shopping centre.

In the UK, we delivered Trafford City’s Holiday Inn Express, a modular ‘off-site’ construction project made from containerised pods which were delivered to site on a “just in time” basis and assembled in a matter of weeks – a possible construction model for helping relieve some of the UK’s housing crisis. Chapman Taylor has also delivered the two largest retail-led regeneration projects in the country - at The Lexicon in Bracknell, which opened in September 2017, and Westgate Oxford, which opened in October 2017.

As part of our constant process of renewal, we unveiled a new, more attractive and more user-friendly website and corporate identity in August 2017.

Awards Won

We won fifteen leading industry awards in 2017 to add to our list of over 250 awards globally. These included being named ‘Architect of the Year’ at the 2016 CEE Retail Real Estate awards, as well as winning UK Planning Permission of the Year 2017 for MediaCityUK Phase 2 in Manchester. Mall of Qatar was named ‘Best International Retail and Leisure Destination’ for 2017 at the Global RLI Awards. Also Jiangnan Global Harbor won ‘Best Retail Architecture in China’ at the Asia-Pacific International Property Awards in 2017. While it is reassuring for our clients to know they are working with the best, it is extremely rewarding for our employees to know that their work is recognised as best-in-class on a world stage.


We continue to strengthen our team, and we have an ongoing retention and recruitment process to attract and retain the best people in our industry. As part of these initiatives in 2017, new senior team members have been recruited across the group. In addition, we have internally promoted a number of employees to senior positions globally.

Expanding our portfolio of international work

We already operate across many countries throughout the world, but we are always reviewing the potential of new markets. We have begun working on a major retail renovation project in Cancun, Mexico, a retail and hotel development near Cairo and an eco-resort in Vietnam, as just three examples of our extended global reach. We have added countries such as Uzbekistan and Côte d'Ivoire to the diverse list of territories in which we work, as well as expanding our operations within the United Arab Emirates. We also welcomed a new addition to the Chapman Taylor family, with a new studio opened in Chiasso, Switzerland, in July 2017, which will help us further enhance our prominent position in Europe.

Research and development

At Chapman Taylor, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the latest technology developments in all of the industry sectors in which we operate. Within each of the industry sectors, we have employees undertaking research and development, with recent insights published in thought leadership papers and presentations to clients on topics such as the future of retail, the shopping habits of millennials and the build-to-rent phenomenon. We are always investigating and innovating in the latest design and construction techniques. We are industry-leading experts in Building Information Modelling (BIM) - investing in cutting-edge Desktop Virtual Reality technology to further enhance the design process and allowing clients to get a clear 3D vision of their projects before and during construction. We also continue to publish, research and speak at leading conferences.

Looking to the year ahead

We are currently designing a number of diverse projects across the world from Global 100, a major new Chinese theme park on Hainan Island, through to helping IKEA expand its presence in Asia. In Vietnam, the government has approved the urban plan for our 728 hectare, hospitality-led, mixed-use resort at Mui Dinh, which includes six resort hotels, a boutique hotel, a casino, a theme park, 500 villas, a beach club and a mountain clubhouse. The Cove, our luxury residential development at Koh Phangan in Thailand, will be opened during 2018. In Germany, our urban development masterplan for Plaza Grafinger Strasse in Munich was given the go ahead in 2017, with work proceeding there and at City Plaza in Wuppertal, while our competition-winning design for a medieval quarter of historic Aachen city centre will start to become a reality.

In the UK, planning permission has been granted for MediaCityUK Phase 2, which is a £1bn expansion to MediaCityUK. Chapman Taylor has developed the overall masterplan and detailed design for individual plot briefs, whilst coordinating the work of the six other architects on ten plots. We are continuing to bring to fruition the redevelopment of Coventry city centre, and Brent Cross in London, among several large-scale projects across the country. We are also expanding our work within the residential sector across the UK through major residential schemes, such as Castle Park View a 375 home Build-to-Rent scheme in Bristol city centre, as well as residential provision within large-scale mixed-use developments. Chapman Taylor has also designed a major reconfiguration and extension of Jersey Airport to improve and simplify the airport's operations, with an aim for an autumn 2018 start to construction.

With our continued emphasis on designing and delivering world-class, ambitious but realistic design for our clients, the outlook for 2018 looks promising.

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