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Friday, June 12, 2009

ATRIO, Villach, Austria

World's most sustainable shopping centre announced
ATRIO in Villach, Austria, was named the world’s most sustainable shopping centre at the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) “night of the stars” gala during the retail spring convention of the international industry organisation at Caesars Palace.

ATRIO, designed by ATP Architects and Engineers for SES Spar European Shopping Centers, had already been awarded the International Design and Development Award in the category for “New Projects between 15,000 and 45,000 sq m”, the major prize of the ICSC Center Build Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, in December 2008. This formally recognised the centre as one of the most innovative shopping centres in the world.

As a result of this ATRIO, together with all other similarly selected and recognised centres worldwide, was nominated at the beginning of this year for the Best-of-the-Best Award, winning in the category for sustainable design, ensuring that ATRIO can now rightly call itself the "ICSC Best-of-the- Best Sustainable Design and Development Shopping Center of the World 2009".

In his initial reaction to the news, Andrei Florian (ATP Innsbruck), the Architect who led the ATRIO design team, noted that “in an international retail architecture competition dominated by American, Canadian and English offices this is a great success for our Client SES and for ATP Architects and Engineers!”

Completed in 2007, the building provides 38,700 sq m of lettable space and is the first themed shopping center in Austria. The impressive form of the large and powerful stand-alone building dominates the southern access to Villach, greeting visitors like a red and silver sculpture. “A:TRIO” – and the search to reconnect three regions: Carinthia, the Friaul and Slovenia, which until recently were kept apart by borders - also defines the programme for the design of the shopping centre. The architecture responds to this theme of “Borders and the Crossing of Borders” in many ways. An almost square and glazed atrium measuring 50 x 60m has been created which establishes a new urban setting for the city of Villach in the way in which it encourages all such activities of the traditional market place as shopping, eating, playing, communicating and just hanging around.

Multi-cultural design is the end result here, reborn in both the center's name and its central plaza as a focal point. Its design arranges the mall and the INTERSPAR hypermarket around this glazed plaza, effectively creating a new urban square for Villach.

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