Publication series "Consortium": XDGA-FAA-MDP-BUROHAPPOLD-MORRI

We continue publication series about the contest's participants of the second stage, their most outstanding projects in the field of masterplanning and urbanism.

XDGA-FAA-MDP-BUROHAPPOLD-MORRI – an international consortium (Creative Association of international teams). The leader of the consortium is XAVEER DE GEYTER ARCHITECTS BVBA, and other consortium participants are FLORIS ALKEMADE ARCHITECT BV / MICHEL DESVIGNE PAYSAGISTE / BURO HAPPOLD / GIACOMO MORRI.


Xaveer De Geyteris a famous Belgian architect. He spent ten years at office for metropolitan architecture with Rem Koolhaas. In 1988 Xaveer De Geyter started his own practice that often surprisingly illuminates the hidden paradoxes and conflicts of the urban life. The work of XDGA is based on a conscious belief in the formal power of architecture to shape and organize the many flows and often incongruous activities that constitute contemporary society.

In the nineties De Geyter built his first houses in Mariakerke and Brasschaat (Belgium). Subsequently, XDGA participated in a number of international architectural and urban competitions. Around the turn of the century, five towers with 137 apartments were built in Breda (NL). XDGA drew up the urban plan for the Ilot St-Maurice in Lille and the Pont du Gard in Nimes (France). During the past decade, larger architectural commissions in Belgium followed swiftly, such as the College of Europe in Bruges, the extension of the Sint-Lucas School of Fine Arts in Ghent, the Kitchen Tower and the Place Rogier (both in Brussels), and two buildings for Ghent University (in collaboration with St?phane Beel Architects). In 2012, the office won two prestigious competitions, one for the design of the Schuman Square in Brussels and one for the construction of the new Antwerp Province Headquarters. During recent years, XDGA has been working more and more abroad, by means of participation in many competitions and by large-scale realisations, such as the Entrepot Macdonald in Paris, a housing complex of 410 apartments in Bordeaux and a master plan for the urban area of Paris-Saclay.

Warehouse MacDonald (In progress)

The project consists of a master plan, the rehabilitation and the extension of a 600 meters long warehouse, situated on the Boulevard MacDonald in the north of Paris. Based on the urban plan of OMA in collaboration with Floris Alkemade, the office of XDGA will coordinate the realization of the whole program with a team of ten internationally renowned architecture offices. Besides the coordination XDGA will design the complete program of retail and a plot of housing. The works commissioned to convert the Macdonalds warehouse to a huge hybrid have already started. The existing structure will be maintained and enlarged so as to house multiple urban uses. The project is planned to fully realized in 2016.

© XDGA / Warehouse MacDonald

© XDGA / Warehouse MacDonald


Floris Alkemade is an architect and urban designer. He joined the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 1989 and has worked as a project director for architecture and urban planning since 1996. As project architect and project leader he worked in the early nineties on the Euralille master plan. Since 1994, he has leaded the master plan project for the City Center of Almere, now constructed. Floris Alkemade has acted as project leader for several urban projects in Europe and Asia and the competition for Les Halles in the center of Paris. Alkemade started his own practice in August 2008, and is now direct of FAA and FAA/XDGA. Among other projects, he is working on the reconversion of a 600 meter long building at the Boulevard McDonald in Paris.

Euralille (completed)

 A masterplan of an entirely new city – a program of one million square meters – in the complicated urban condition of Lille. In 1989 Euralille, a public-private partnership, commissioned OMA to masterplan a vast program consisting of more than 800,000 square meters of urban activities - a new TGV station, shopping, offices, parking, hotels, housing, a concert hall, congress - built on 120 hectares on the site of the former city fortifications by Vauban.

© ByOMA / Euralille, 2010

The masterplan also re-organized the infrastructure, a complicated junction of various transportation systems. The initial development area has been extended since 2000 by another 22 hectares, named Euralille 2.

The first phase of the project has been opened in 1994, but continued to expand in the following decade. After the Tour de Lille and Tour Lilleurope office towers were completed in 1995, the Suite H?tel has been completed in 2005.

© ByOMA / Euralille, 2010


Michel Desvigne is a French landscape designer. He is best known for large scale urban regeneration landscape works such as the two phases of the Lyon-confluence project with urban planner and architect Fran?ois Grether (a 150 ha site with a 2.5km riverside promenade) then with architects Herzog and de Meuron on the Rh?ne side of the river , the development of 7,700 hectares on the Saclay plateau, or redevelopment of the old port of Marseille (2010 ongoing) in association with Norman Foster. In 2011 he received the Grande Prix d’Urbanisme awarded annually for urban planning in France by the Ministry for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Planning.


Landscape: Michel Desvigne Paysagiste (MDP)


Buro Happold is a professional services firm providing engineering consultancy, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of buildings, infrastructure and the environment, with its head office in Bath, Somerset. It was founded in 1976, by Sir Edmund Happold in Bath in the southwest of England when he leftOve Arup and Partners to take up a post at the University of Bath as Professor of Architecture and Engineering Design.

Buro Happold won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for Tuwaiq Palace in Riyadh in 1998 and again in 2010 for the design of the Wadi Hanifah wetlands. In 1999 Buro Happold engineers Ian Liddell, Paul Westbury, Dawood Pandor and technician Gary Dagger won the Royal Academy of Engineering's MacRobert Award for their design of the Millennium Dome – only the second time in the award's history that it has gone to a construction project. Buro Happold received the accompanying gold medal. In 2007, Buro Happold won the IStructE Supreme Award for the Savill Building in Windsor Great Park. Buro Happold was the second firm in the world to achieve worldwide Investors in People accreditation.

Jazan Industrial City (on-going)

Buro Happold has been commissioned by the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON) to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the construction and operation of the proposed Jazan Industrial City (Saudi Arabia).  The masterplan for the industrial city covers an area of approximately 40 km2 and situated in the Province of Jazan, around 700km south of Jeddah.

Jazan Industrial City is situated approximately 50 km from Jazan port, Saudi Arabia’s third most important port on the Red Sea, and 20 km from the Yemeni border, giving the city a competitive advantage to export products.

The site is located in a hilly area that is intersected by wadis and is close to the Gizan dam. These unique characteristics create their own technical and environmental challenges.  The regular water flow has created areas of high ecological sensitivity in some of the greener wadi channels; in addition areas of the site are prone to flooding and possible pollution from construction could impact the catchment of the wadi Gizan. 

© Burohappold / Jazan Industrial City

© Burohappold / Jazan Industrial City