PLH Arkitekter has won the architectural competition to design a new e-commerce campus, called Urban Hub, near Lithuania's second largest city, Kaunas. Six different design studios from Spain, Finland, Lithuania and Denmark participated in the competition, which was published by SBA Urban and it will be Danish PLH Arkitekter’s vision that is now brought to life.
Urban Hub is a breakthrough in e-commerce, turning the way we look at package collection upside down. Gone are the traditional parcel shops and warehouses where people only come to pick up online orders. Instead, PLH Arkitekter’s design offers a vibrant urban environment with showrooms, cafes and inviting green market areas.
“We are very honored that our vision has been chosen for this groundbreaking project. When you think of parcel shops or warehouses, these are often located in bland surroundings where you go alone to pick up your parcels. With Urban Hub, the vision has been to create the opposite – a lively and inspiring place where people will want to spend time, stay and experience what the area has to offer. Therefore, we have created a modern, dynamic shopping city with some of the qualities found in older neighborhoods. Walking down the streets you encounter a variety of facades, different building heights, market squares, small nooks and many types of green planting. In this way, each step is a step towards new experiences,” says Steen Enrico Andersen, Senior Partner at PLH.
According to SBA Urban, it is precisely the way in which the architecture connects functionality and experiences that has made PLH Arkitekter’s proposal win the competition.
"As fanatics of architectural aesthetics, we are constantly pushing boundaries. Boring warehouse boxes are not for us. That's why in the architectural concept selection, we set ourselves the task of refining an idea that would rewrite the usual e-commerce space solutions. With the team at PLH, that is exactly what we have created – a new concept and business model that will respond to the changing habits of shoppers and the needs of merchants. The town's conceptually unified spaces and cozy streets will be a convenient transit shopping place and a place where customers and employees will enjoy being and spending time," says Rasa Pečiulaitė, head of real estate development at SBA Urban.
Urban Hub has a total budget of EUR 92 million, roughly DKK 684 million. According to the plan, construction will start during the first quarter of 2023 and will extend over three different phases, each comprising between 22,000 and 24,000 m².
This is not the first time that PLH Arkitekter and SBA Urban are working together on groundbreaking architecture. Green Hall, a 14-story commercial building on the Neris River in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, opened its doors in 2009. Here, too, it was PLH Arkitekter’s design that won the architectural competition. PLH Arkitekter has also designed a new factory for production of wooden modules for residential construction for SBA in the town of Klaipėda in northwestern Lithuania.