Galp selected MVRDV to develop the urban regeneration project that will give rise to the new Innovation District on the land of the former Matosinhos Refinery. The decision occurred as part of an international competition to choose the concept that best reflected the objective of transforming the former Refinery site into a “World Class Innovation District”.
Based in the Netherlands, MVRDV is a world-renowned urban planners office, including renowned architects, who have designed projects that have helped to renew, or create from scratch, innovative urban landscapes in countries as diverse as the United States, France, China, Germany, South Korea or the United Kingdom. MVRDV teamed up with local architecture office OODA on selecting the design team fit for this challenge.
MVRDV will lead a multidisciplinary team that includes international companies such as Thornton Tomasetti (specialists in structural engineering that led one of the largest regeneration projects in the United States, Hudson Yards, including the emblematic building “The Vessel” , as well as the headquarters of Google and Bloomberg), LOLA (LOst LAndscapes, responsible for Forest Sports Park, Shenzhen and the adidas World of Sports HQ), LiveWork and the Portuguese companies OODA (Douro Hotel, Matadouro and Miramar Tower in Porto) and A400 (engineering firm involved in projects such as Google offices in Lagoas Park, Oeiras, and Microsoft offices in Lisbon).
More than two dozen specialists from these six companies will join a multidisciplinary team created by Galp for this purpose and will prepare a Masterplan in the next 12 months. The “new city” centered on innovation within the city of Matosinhos will have a phased development. The development of the Galp project, carried out by MVRDV, starts in direct collaboration with the Municipality of Matosinhos, CCDR-N and the University of Porto.
“This is another important step in Galp's commitment to the future of Matosinhos. We are convinced that with the help of MVRDV we will be able to create a world class innovation district, focused on sustainable energy and advanced technologies. This district will create new business opportunities and employment enhancing the economic and social fabric of the community”, says Galp CEO Andy Brown.
For Luísa Salgueiro, Mayor of Matosinhos, “the ambition is that Matosinhos can have the most environmentally and technologically advanced area of economic activity in the Euroregion, which will strengthen the relationship between academia and industry 4.0 and 5.0, continuing to contribute for the creation of wealth and even more for the attraction and retention of employment”.
Enno Zuidema, Studio Director and Urban Planner of MVRDV, highlights that “with this project, we want to contribute to a new future for the inhabitants of Matosinhos, Porto and the Norte region, by designing the development of a unique area that includes top-notch innovation, nature, recreation and culture, working and living together with the inhabitants, the government and Galp”.
The decision for the project presented by MVRDV was supported by a panel of highly qualified experts, including members affiliated with Harvard University and the University of Porto. In addition to the technical criteria and the merits of the concept developed for the future Innovation District of Matosinhos – namely for its social, economic and environmental impact – the panel of experts also valued the experience of the multi-awarded team in the MVRDV project (only MVRDV has already received 153 international awards) that will ensure its implementation. The founding partner of MVRDV Winy Maas and the architects and urban planners Enno Zuidema, Rodrigo Vilas-Boas and the landscape architect Peter Veenstra are some of the members of the team that will lead the project.