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MIPIM 2013: As it happens by the AJ bloggers in Cannes

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The return of AJ’s much-loved live blog, sponsored by Place Careers, from Europe’s biggest property fair. Experience the thrill and champagne spills of the annual MIPIM property show

See the full list of AJ MIPIM bloggers

FRIDAY 8.45pm
Tamsyn Curley
After a very soggy and heavily overcast day on Thursday, the sun was soon shining again just in time for Tom Bloxham’s fabulous MIPIM wind-down party at the very beautiful Maison Bulle. The only way to end MIPIM. Snow flurries in the morning and sunshine by the time of arrival, it may be too chilly for a swim?….that thought soon disappears after a few Rosés and Tom’s very kind promise of a reward of ‘champagne for the swimmers!’
The guests are fun and always great company. A few of us sample his fabulous hat collection, as a fellow hat lover, I can’t resist. We all gaze appreciatively from the living room …such an amazing view….
Many interesting discussions about thoughts and plans for the year ahead, leaves me with a very good feeling as I head back to the UK….looking forward to catching up with the new and old friends on return.I have a feeling it’s going to be a positive year….

FRIDAY 4.45pm
Richard Hyams
So on returning home it has been a very positive week. We have a great deal to follow up and some new clients to meet which is all you can ask for. The highlight of the week was a visit to Tom Bloxham’s house, an exquisite building built into the rocks overlooking the coast. It was a privilege to be invited.
My blogs so far have tried to evaluate the value and cost of MIPIM. This was all made very clear to me when I arrived home a few moments ago to receive a drawing from Georgia my four-year old daughter. It depicts a sad father off to work and a sad girl waiting for him to return.
Success is great but not at any cost.

Richard Hyams gets home from MIPIM

Richard Hyams’ daughter pens him a picture

FRIDAY 1.41pm
David Waterhouse

So, that’s the end of MIPIM for another year. I didn’t quite expect it to end with a snow storm this morning.
What has struck me is the renewed sense of energy and optimism across the property industry, and the common themes of collaboration and joint working to achieve growth and investment have run throughout seminars, meetings and the speaking events. Much learning and new connections to take back to the UK and build on.

Id’ like to say that I’m going back to London for a rest, but we have a packed schedule going forward into April of seminars, conferences as well as delivering design review and training support.

So, from a now sunny Cannes, à bientôt.

Natasha Bonugli
Most of my Thursday revolved around the preparation and hosting duties of our lunch event at Felix restaurant. With drinks at 12:30pm we had 25 guests with us for what was a spectacular lunch. I chatted with Pam Alexander, a Trustee of the Design Council and Non-Executive Director of CABE, who spoke passionately about the new project she is leading in Covent Garden. Providing a thriving garden hub as the heart of the community, this development should bring energy and excitement to the area. We also spoke about how great design can influence both our lives and the shape of the city.
By mid-afternoon the weather took a sudden turn for the worse with torrential rain showers. This may have in fact worked to our advantage as most of our guests stayed with us until 7pm.  Or maybe it was just the fantastic Woods Bagot hospitality.
In Cannes we have seen sunshine, rain, hail and even snow in a matter of days. It’s been an extremely productive week. But more importantly, I am still standing with just about enough energy for all the follow up from the office next week.


  • Business cards from people I have met. Full box. Tick
  • Hangovers. Four
  • Warm clothes - it was snowing when we left Cannes this morning. Tick
  • Transport delays - 45 min train delay due to weather condition.Tick
  • Pain killers - extra strength. Tick. 

FRIDAY 10.37am
Ron Bakker
In the grey and snowy reality of the Friday morning I tot up the experiences of the last three intensive days. I saw practically all the people I wanted to say hi to, and caught them up on what is new and exciting in our studio in London, and I didn’t have to travel thousands of miles to find them. They were in good moods, mostly, well fed and watered, somewhat sun struck, and many of them expressed relief at being able to look at some pretty pictures and talk architecture, between chasing investors and moaning about finding finance for their projects.
I was interviewed by three journalists, and found it hard not to tell them what is new and exciting in our studio in London. I talked to a hundred total strangers and got somewhat of a sense of what is going on in the global real estate business.

I did not see much beauty exhibited

One big worry. I did not see much beauty exhibited, besides the image of the molecular structure of the green goop I found in the Manchester stand. If an intelligent creature ever flies into our solar system and finds our small blue and green planet looking like the images and models exhibited at this year’s MIPIM it might get a bit of a shock.

Work to be done.

Amii van Amerongen
It was great to collect the special judges commendation at the MIPIM AR Future Projects awards from Paul Finch last night. It seemed like everyone enjoyed the evening - particularly the lively table I happened to be sitting on.
It’s quite sad to be approaching the end of this year’s MIPIM but it’s definitely been worthwhile and a lot of fun at the same time. We’ve had the opportunity to meet colleagues and discuss live and potential projects and opportunities in the UK and abroad.
Looking forward to tonight’s closing party hosted by Assembly Studios & Chart Lane. I’ve heard it’s the place to be. Until next year…

Amii van Amerongen

Amii van Amerongen

Ron Bakker
I spent most of yesterday back on the comfortable home planet ‘London Stand’, where it is business as usual. Two days after Boris’ energetic address his ghost is still visibly and audibly present among his subjects. With his help the city is growing and the population is getting younger. Those one million new folk need to learn and they need to live somewhere, and then they will need places to work - office buildings, he said - and he’s going to sort all that out in the next two-and-a-bit years, on land and on water, but only with our help! And a new runway, please, anywhere. Oh, and hands off our banks!

Green fluorescent goop

Source: Ron Bakker

Green fluorescent goop

A brief visit to our satellite outpost of Manchester, where a fancy canister of bubbling green fluorescent goop was on show. An ‘unnatural protein’, the locals explained, which does not occur on Planet Earth, but which will revolutionise medicine. I’d be careful. It reeks of alien intervention. It is called Kryptonite! Who knows what it will do.

THURSDAY 12.41pm
David Waterhouse
What has surprised me at MIPIM is the number of local authorities present – and that is fantastic – local leadership driving growth. Over the last 24 hours I’ve met with a wide range of them, all who have radical ambitions to treasure the assets they have, but transform their areas into somewhere vibrant and vital.

At a round table event hosted by Bath & North East Somerset this morning, the importance of placemaking and quality of public realm was at the fore. The balance between preservation and aspiration – saying clearly that the city is open for business and innovation is a tricky one. However, the glue that holds the ambition of a place together is good quality public realm.

Last night I had some great conversations with those working across the Leeds City Region, and again the message was clear: placemaking and clarity of design will enable economic growth. Middle weight cities such as Leeds have a fantastic opportunity, embracing new technologies, retrofitting existing housing and ensuring that they are seen as coherent and investor friendly locations.

CABE works with local authorities across the country, and the three key messages that are consistent are: the importance of leadership, getting your plan and vision in place; and communicating that you are open for business. In short stand by your plan.

THURSDAY 10.33am
Richard Waite

More Winy Maas models. This time part of the Porocity/Porous society exhibition in the Innovation Forum block.

Source: Richard Waite

More Winy Maas models. This time part of the Porocity/Porous society exhibition in the Innovation Forum block.

THURSDAY 10.02am
Michelle van Vuuren
Today is about lunch. Long lunches. Four hour lunches in the sunshine, with chilled Cote de Provence rose to wash down the seabass and scallops. The water laps the sand. The sound of clinking cutlery and industry gossip washes away my hangover. The golden light that is only found in this part of the world fills my eyes and my heart.

Today is a beautiful new day. It is the final day of MIPIMfest. There is a sense of togetherness. Shared stories from the Carlton last night. Shared conversations and antics at the Martinez. Did anyone else see the guy get hit by a car at Café Roma yesterday? Today is a day for marinating in each other’s company and animatedly reliving the stories of the week. So make sure you are in good company today. Pull up a chair and relax in the comfortable chatter of colleagues and friends. Because for the next few weeks there will be a frenzy of follow up meetings, eager discussions back at base and busy PA’s syncing diaries to get that meeting in. But today, breathe in the fresh air, drink the last of the MIPIM champagne and simply have a laugh.

Tomorrow, the residents of Cannes will resume ownership of their town, bidding us all au revoir.

Tamsyn Curley
An early and slightly chilly run along La Croisette proved much more difficult this morning… surprise, surprise. After a fabulous dinner last night , we all headed to the AR Future Projects Awards , then on to the Carlton Club. Welcome back the Carlton Club and thank you Peter Murray. Everyone was in very good spirits and after closing we ended up in the Manchester Bar/Le Crillon. Now we’re heading back in to the bunker,  before more ‘social happenings’ later today.

Leanne Tritton
Day 3 and its getting harder to string a sentence together. Highlight comments from yesterday: ‘What do you call a group of architects? A nuisance.’, ‘How exactly do you charge for your services?’, and ‘He’s a masterplanner - fancies himself a bit’.

Great discussion with Russians last night about the power of design that extends beyond the physical building. Engaging with good design and great architects establishes a benchmark of behaviour for an organisation that is clear for all to see. Wish all developers felt the same way.

Richard Waite

A Lego model by Winy Maas in the foyer 'outside' the Carlton club

Source: Richard Waite

A Lego model by Winy Maas in the foyer ‘outside’ the Carlton club

Richard Hyams
Had a good day of meetings today, meeting funders through to local authorities. I am heartened by the positive nature of the people here this year. There is a marked difference to the past two years with a much more buoyant atmosphere. Being a regular visitor to this event I am quietly conscious of the MIPIM holiday romance attitude, that is - that a tower here becomes a car park project when you get back home, but that said this feels a more serious and dynamic place in 2013.

One of my themes this year is to discuss the carbon reduction commitment with those that own and operate large portfolios of property. So the irony sets in where I find myself discussing the greed and excess over a cocktail in the Caffe Roma. I am currently reading Al Gore’s ‘The Future’ which sets out a new way of thinking to overcome the worlds excessive use of energy and over indulgence. You can see my problem … see you on the yacht tomorrow for breakfast?

Amii van Amerongen
The MIPIM opening party last night was fun. Walking down the red carpet with pink strobe lights flashing and ‘It’s raining men’ blasting out of the speakers was surreal. But maybe I should have expected that with the event being sponsored by Turkey. It was good to talk to developers from other shores - Spain, Germany, the USA and Russia to find out what’s going on and how people see the coming 12 months. The consensus is positive, but hesitant none the less.

Had an interesting breakfast on the beach with the director of planning for Croydon speaking about the immense investment and changes to come in the next few years. The recent announcement of Westfield and  Hammerson moving forward together on a combined shopping centre and mixed use development really does now seem the catalyst for significant progress. And as Boris proffered yesterday- another West Ham for London!

Presenting the award to the winning team in our annual boules match

Source: Amii van Amerongen

Presenting the award to the winning team in our annual boules match

It was our annual boules match this afternoon for which the weather remained pleasant - a massive relief. We had teams from London First, Balfour Beatty, URS and Bespoke to name a few, all battling it out for the sought after trophy which I had the honour of presenting to the winning team.

Looking forward to the AR Future Projects awards dinner tonight for which our Miami Metromover was awarded a special judges commendation. Will be good to see presentations of all the other schemes and get a feel for what’s to come.

Natasha Bonugli
Headed to the MIPIM Innovation Forum to hear about ‘The future of CRE: trends set to revolutionise’ with Woods Bagot’s Earle Arney of WB and Ben Munn of CBRE on the panel.

Earle talked about the three ‘E’s:

Enabler- Where space/buildings are aligned with the ways we work
Efficiency- Driving assets and designing from the inside out
Effective- Removing boundaries, empower employees, collaboration and interaction.

For Ben it was all about Location, Location, Location. It’s not only about the physical location, but also includes the location of data, and having the choice of where you work. Why are we not sharing more real estate? If small media and creative type businesses are already using the model of office sharing, why can this not transfer over into larger scale office space?  Let’s take cross pollination to a whole new level.

Now it’s back to the villa for a quick power nap before hitting the town again. I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday.

Richard Waite

A snap from Kengo Kuma's lecture - a scheme based on a stacking houses

Source: Richard Waite

A snap from Kengo Kuma’s lecture - a scheme based on a stacking houses

David Waterhouse

The highlight of MIPIM for me was yesterday’s speech by Boris Johnson – a tour de force of all that is great about London – and fabulous to know that London is indeed the 5th French city, leaving Bordeaux in the shade.
The importance of being bold and making clear decisions was at the heart of the speech, but we risk losing out to many other cities in Europe and globally if we don’t get our airport infrastructure sorted out.
Rotterdam took trade from the great port of London and indeed Schipol is now taking trade from Heathrow – lessons from the past should inform our future plans, something which I’ve heard time and again here.

And while Boris was clear that London is the locomotive of the UK economy, we must not forget the great core cities of England. Fast forward to this morning and a stimulating line up of speakers at the Leeds City Region stand, ranging from Birmingham City Council to the London Borough of Newham and the private sector view. My view was simple, we need to ensure quality of place is at the heart of the built environment and plan making. Enabling communities, the public and private sectors to see the benefit of great design is crucial in achieving the growth that this country needs.

Via Croydon? A great example of a London Borough taking radical decisions and striving to grow and regenerate. Currently the £1.2billion investment through Hammerson is just one of a suite of exciting new developments in the town, and at breakfast this morning we heard that a collaborative approach to spatial planning lay at the heart of their ambition.

Ron Bakker
I had drinks on a boat yesterday. Fanciful Dream, I think it was called. The creatures on board were friendly; all very bubbly and excited. But when I talked to them about the things I usually talk about they seemed to panic a little. Perhaps they were out of their linguistic comfort zone. Over the years I have learned that, at MIPIM, when pursuing business with the aliens, one has to make small adjustments to one’s demeanour, to be able to interface successfully with one’s targets. It doesn’t do just speaking English, French, German, Dutch. It goes a bit deeper, grammatically. With some of them, the trick is to avoid articles. Like in Google.

Thus I found out that: ‘City of Volgograd is planning great new revitalisation project called Architectural, Memorial and Touristic Masterplan. It is monument to grandiose fighting in bloody battle of Stalingrad.’

Tamsyn Curley
The C2C team arrived to sunshine and sunny cheers yesterday. Everyone will be ‘doing it next year’, by all accounts. Perhaps even BoJo?!, who armed with a cup of tea, warmly congratulated the C2C team on arrival. Thank you to Savills, for hosting what was essentially the C2C welcome drinks. Slightly smelly and very happy cyclists started to resemble (very fit) pigs in mud, after a couple of pints and copious amounts of rose! The sun shone and the fabulous cyclists soon headed home for a much needed shower and some kip… in preparation for their Beginning-of-MIPIM dinners.

Richard Hyams
So here’s a thing, 20,000 suits descend on Cannes a sunny seaside town on the south coast of France with a wealthy population - they would have to be to pay the taxi costs and buy a decent meal. I am left asking myself what it must feel like to be a resident of a place with an ever changing population of people arriving and decimating the place like it is their own.

I spotted a very well-turned out old lady walking her toy dog along the croissette dodging her way between the silkily clad business suit wearers on their mobile phones talking at the top of their voices. Film festivals, jewellery fair, dancers, arts and crafts – the place must be crawling with a mix of different types throughout the year. What does home feel like here?
From a residents view point I am not sure what type of fair they prefer arriving, the business suit brigade or the rubber suit brigade shortly after when the Cannes Porn Festival comes to town …

TUESDAY 11.45pm
Leanne Tritton

Survived day one. The enthusiasm and excitement of the Mebe team is almost overwhelming. New to the development market, Mustafa Bilek and his team are truly looking for new ideas. Makes an old cynic almost misty eyed. The Mayor of Khimki (city outside Moscow) was an honoured guest.

TUESDAY 6.17pm
Natasha Bonugli
The sun is shining - what a relief to escape the snow of London. I arrived on the Cannes Cannes Express (named because it’s the party train).

There seems to be a lot of positive noises about the market

A few of us early arrivals headed straight to Café Roma to meet the early arrivals. Ended up having dinner at Pizza Cresci  with a client, a group from T&T and the guys from Structuretone. The best nights are the ones you don’t plan.Woods Bagot this year decided not to have a stand in the London tent as we thought it was more important to have a fluid presence out on the ground.  Means I am ready for a lot more walking and networking.
So far the place is buzzing. There seems to be a lot of positive noises about the market. 
My colleagues who completed the Cycle to Cannes have arrived, exhausted but full of pride.

TUESDAY 2.29pm
Amii van Amerongen
I have it on good authority from my colleague that half of the MIPIM delegates were out running on la Croisette early this morning. I imagine that was in order to make them feel better about the copious amounts of French cuisine and good wine consumed  on Monday evening and indeed to be consumed today.

I started my day with a stroll around the London stand and was extremely impressed with the new London development model - absolutely fantastic.
The walk through the Russian delegation  tent is quite an experience. Vast models of whole new cities rolled out through the sparkly decorated pavilion with mini-Scalextric style cars speeding round a magnetic track. Will these ambitious plans suceed?  Only time will tell.

Boris’ keynote speec(see below) announced London’s plans for a floating village in the Royal Victoria Dock at the foot of his cable car. Exciting stuff. A new ‘floating community of homes, bars and restaurants’ with tenders out to developers in Summer 2013 so watch that space. Managed to catch up with him for a quick chat afterwards and I can honestly say that he’s a really nice bloke. Off to the MIPIM opening cocktails tonight and will report back tomorrow…

Discussing aviation capacity crisis with Boris

Source: Amii van Amerongen

Discussing aviation capacity crisis with Boris

TUESDAY 12.27pm
Richard Waite

The London model

Source: Richard Waite

The London model

Bristol mayor George Ferguson enjoying the Manchester stand

Source: Richard Waite

Bristol mayor George Ferguson enjoying the Manchester stand

TUESDAY 11.41am
David Waterhouse
Day 2 and the pace has quickened. A really good set of press meetings this morning and a fantastic opportunity to tell key press contacts about Cabe, the Design Council and our future strategy and plans.

All the stands are now up, and the London Pavilion is impressive. I had an early sneak preview as the team were setting up, the fantastic scale model at the heart of the pavilion is testament to the huge scale of investment in our capital. It was great to be at the London First drinks reception last night with Baroness Jo Valentine. A great turn out of public and private sectors, and we are all eagerly awaiting Boris’ arrival this afternoon and his key note speech and his vision for the city.

London in many ways is a showcase for best practice and Cabe has done much to champion great design in the capital, through design review and enabling work with London Boroughs. Many of the schemes that have been design reviewed are on show here at Mipim and of course change the skyline for ever.

I also had a quick look at the Paris pavilion, right next door to London, of course, and the layout and clarity of development areas was strong, with clear and consistent branding for all the major development and regeneration areas, so that you can quickly get a handle on the totality of what Paris can offer the developer. A layout  London might want to consider?

The London model

Source: David Waterhouse

The London model

TUESDAY 11.04am
Ron Bakker
Air. No iron rails over rolling hills this time; no miles and miles of tarmac and rain. Air. 

I try to explain to others, and to myself, why I go to MIPIM each year, but I don’t ever get very far. So this is good! If I spend fifteen minutes each day, writing between 150 and 200 words, I must be able to cobble together some kind of understanding of what it is, this MIPIM, and what it is for, exactly.

It is a forum, of course, and a market square. It is place where people converse about buildings, cities, money, opportunity. It is a place for determining one’s status in the world-wide real estate circus. It is about finding other people who may possibly fit snugly into one’s plans for future prosperity.

It is also a bit like being on an alien planet. It is full of creatures who are at ease here - or so they seem to be - but who appear to be ever so slightly removed from my familiarity. A bit weird. There are some people from my home planet too, and we nod and smile at each other, but the strangers are the target, surely.

So, how do we find the perfect alien, the stranger bound to become familiar. And how do we trap this creature? 

TUESDAY 7.20 am
Tamsyn Curley
A 4am start…snow blizzards,  in mid-March…seriously ?! After a tasty Pret porridge and a strong flat-white,  I’m 100% ready and really looking forward to MIPIM 2013!

After my arrival in Cannes, i’ll have a few hours before the 90 C2C riders arrive, en masse. I’m looking forward to welcoming them all to sunny Cannes! C2C 2013 has been an amazing experience for both C2C virgins and the more seasoned C2C’ ers alike , by all accounts…lots of bonding and laughter…as well as a lot of hard work.

I have a jam-packed week to look forward to; catching up with old and new friends. I can’t wait! This is my second MIPIM: last year was a great introduction…I have a feeling that MIPIM 2013 is going to be even better….

MONDAY 10.51pm
Martyn Evans
An hour and half sitting on the Tarmac waiting for the snow to clear and the plane to be de-iced (in March…) was not the best way to start this year’s trip.  But interesting opportunity to overhear conversations on a plane full of property folks.  Upbeat was the general tone, I think.  My first invitation to a yacht arrived just now – meeting with the very hospitable Marc Finney of Colliers on their yacht to talk about hotels, financing and secret shenanigans in West London. There is the very charming prospect of a coffee/lunch/drink with the editor of this fine journal tomorrow and the delivery of a film I’ve been making with Deborah Curtis and Gavin Turk for the East London stand – it’s what you have to do when it’s too early in the development process for a fly-through and you’ve got a great big video screen to fill…

Christine Murray
We’re here, we’re wired up and ready to go in the AJ news room at MIPIM. Journalists are allowed into the bowels of the bunker a bit earlier than other guests to use the press room – there’s a lot of crashing, banging and setting up going on around us, and some of the stands are far from ready – Glasgow’s stand appears to be a giant wheelie bin at the moment. But some of the stands are gleaming white and ready to go with their polished and glistening models, such as Barcelona’s with its mirrored sea. We also stumbled upon a Zaha model for a building in Uruguay that’s not by Zaha. Another copycat? I’m sure we’ll find more before too long….

Martin Gibson
I’m sat consuming my first drink of the week in a café overlooking the Palais des Festivals in eager anticipation of how the week will pan out.
It seems quiet out there at the moment, although the real thrust starts tomorrow. The weather is pleasant, but a little overcast (much better than the -3 degrees in Manchester this morning).
I flew in on the Manchester flight with the consistent tour de force of the Manchester property scene. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood and Rowena Burns, CEO of Manchester Science Parks on the flight and engaged in some life science discussion. I then shared a cab into Cannes with Mark Caldwell, CEO of Bluemantle, and continued conversations relating to the scientific innovation sector. It is clear that the healthcare and scientific innovation sectors will play a significant part of this MIPIM for Manchester, and I look forward to tomorrow’s stand events to engage more with these subjects….oh and Brian Cox is delivering a key note speech - IPIM particle here we come!!!

MONDAY 3.15pm
Amii van Amerongen
Excitement mounting on the way to catch my Easyjet flight from Luton (which, incidentally, seems an ideal location for a four runway hub airport). The guy next to me turns to his business partner and starts talking about a piece of land and how he’s ‘going to seal the deal’. I realise I’m part of a mass migration from a bleak and snowy London to a more promising forecast of 17 degrees and sunshine in Cannes.

I’m looking forward to the annual swirl of optimism generated by MIPIM. With events in Italy, Spain and Greece continuing to influence our economic outlook, some of the proposals in Europe and elsewhere seem incredibly optimistic. But at least this optimism is generating some design work.

I’m excited about meeting interesting colleagues and finding out where the new opportunities lie through a packed schedule of breakfasts, meetings and parties over the coming three days.

MONDAY 2.41pm
Richard Hyams
Leading on from my last post, I thought it a good idea to try to place a value on the MIPIM experience. If you like it is a way of counting the value/cost of MIPIM from a different perspective.

So, in terms of business development looking at my diary of events for the next three days I would equate that to around 5-6 months of business development, so this is a rate of:

1 day in MIPIM = 2 months mag subscription

Averaging out the food and drink intake over the past 8 years of going, I would say that each day you consume over 5000 calories.

1 day in MIPIM = 4 days of food and drink

Sleep deprivation: If we average 8 hours of sleep per night

1 night in MIPIM  = 0.3 nights worth of sleep

If you accumulate all these together, it probably adds a year on to your appearance! So to prepare, get a good nights sleep before you go, take your running shoes to burn off the calories on the beach before each day starts and pack plenty of business cards … see you in Cannes.

MONDAY 2.38pm
Michelle van Vuuren
Now, I don’t want to talk out of turn here, but I’m feeling optimistic… maybe it’s just the thrill of Day 1 of MIPIM week. I don’t know if it’s just a mirage but there seems to be quite a few hushed conversations about actual developments. It would appear that there are deals to be done. There are live opportunities to pull together.

At MIPIM, there are decidedly fewer delegates than the boom years – yes. But this MIPIM is once again buzzing with chatter of real world mega projects – my personal favourite types. Build them big. Build them to last. Build them beautiful.

From the East of the globe through to the West, there is a tangible enthusiasm, an energy, an appetite. We know it’s going to be harder this time. We know we are going to have to work even harder. But, as an industry that dreams in acres and cities, we have grown bored of the miniature and insignificant. Arguably, we are just an industry of megalomaniacs.

There will be need to be greater accountability. Financing and risk management means more cooperation between nations, banks and developers. But we are up for the challenge.

MONDAY 1.57pm
David Waterhouse
So, its unofficially day one of MIPIM 2013, the sun is shining and we are all getting ready for a great week of networking and developing new business relationships. I’m an ex civil servant working in an ex Quango – so MIPIM is something I have always looked at from afar with curiosity!

It is fantastic that Cabe is here; my Chief Executive and I are using the week to really show that Cabe is alive and well, and planning well into the future. It’s really time to dispel some myths about our future – we are part of the Design Council and the synergies between the two organisations are clear and we will be using this week demonstrate our critical role in ramping up the quality of buildings, communities and places.

With Nick Boles talking much about “beauty”, the need for an agile organisation that places the quality of the built environment at its heart has never been more acute. Cabe has a great legacy on which to build, working with developers, local authorities and communities to drive up the aspirations for great places.

But of course, we cannot do this alone! So, whether you are a developer, local authority or a community group, let’s all raise the bar and refuse to accept poor design – and if you are at MIPIM then I wish you a great few days, and hope to meet you so that we can work together to root out poor design.

MONDAY 9.50am
Christine Murray

Snow in France

Source: Christine Murray

Snow in France

The train to sunny France not looking promising - a chilly MIPIM ahead?

MONDAY 9.48am
Leanne Tritton

MIPIM 2013

Source: Leanne Tritton

MIPIM 2013

Monday. Sunny skies in Cannes and feeling cautiously optimistic. Brochures and model have made it through French customs in one piece. Hundreds of workers are all over the Palais making final preparations so there is a sense of comraderie amongst us ‘workers’. The suits are yet to arrive.

SUNDAY 6.55pm
Martyn Evans
Through the wind and the chill and the rain…getting ready to leave London tomorrow morning.  Quite amazed how organized I am.  Appointments made, invitations accepted, dinner tables booked, Carlton Club tickets bought, car lined up.  Shaping up to be an interesting week.  We are nominated for our Library Building in Clapham in the MIPIM awards.  Have been watching the numbers for the voting in the public award – some very large numbers on one or two of the projects… We’re going in such a different mood this year.  Last year we had one scheme on site – just finishing up Clapham.  By the end of this year we’ll have six.  It’s been such a change for us over the last six months – will be interesting to see if it’s reflected in other people’s experience.  Am looking forward to hearing many positive things this week

Natasha Bonugli
Technically this will be my second year at MIPIM, but last year’s trip was cut short as I headed back to London on the Wednesday for a pitch. Fingers crossed there will not be a repeat. Now that I know what to expect, the planning has been much easier.  There are four of us attending from Woods Bagot. Nick Acton-Adams and Earle Arney have hit the saddle this morning with the Cycle to Cannes crew, and Jonathan Clarke and are taking the relatively luxurious journey on the Eurostar. My diary will include a few lunches, interviews and key appointments. The rest I will leave to chance. Slow and steady….will need to pace myself in order to last the whole week. I am looking forward to all the chance encounters and unexpected meetings as well as catching up with old friends and contacts. Ready to network, network, network.


  • Business cards - two boxes tick
  • MIPIM cards - Woods Bagot branded tick
  • Ipad- loaded with new WB presentation tick
  • Comfortable shoes - flats tick
  • Heels tick
  • Sun glasses tick
  • Vitamin C tablets- for the mornings tick
  • Warm clothes- remember to pack layers- last year was freezing tick
  • Pain killers- extra strength tick
  • Information Pack- travel details, accommodation details, contact for a driver tick
  • Snacks - granola or power bars in my bag to keep my energy levels up tick
  • Euros- for taxis back to the house tick
  • Number for a taxi service back to the house tick
  • Power converters tick
  • Passport tick
  • Earle’s suit bag- he is cycling down with Cycle to Cannes (He didn’t tell me the bag was going to be bigger than me) tick

FRIDAY 3.30pm
Leanne Tritton
For the first time, I will be firmly entrenched in the developer camp. I’m working with Russian development and construction group MEBE, which is bringing its first commercial project to Cannes. I won’t bore you with the details but conceiving and building a stand, organising four VIP dinners, three cocktails parties etc, puts foot-ache on the Croisette into perspective.
However, the stress is tempered by my new found popularity. Being gatekeeper to a Russian developer which has integrity and understands the power of good design is a very nice place to be. Form a queue.

FRIDAY 9.30am
Richard Waite news editor, AJ

Get it in the diary….a safe haven party/retreat for architects and those keen on good design. Join the AJ and the AR for cold gin and hot jazz at the AR Future Projects After Party.
A laid-back spot for thinking and talking about architecture over a few drinks. And entertainment from Velvet Jazz. Nice.
Day: Wednesday 13 March Time: 2013 22.15 - 02.00 Place: Mediterranée Suite Foyer Level -1 JW Marriott Cannes 50 Boulevard La Croissette Reason: to chat about design with those who care
RSVP paul.hewitt@emap.com

FRIDAY 8.44am
Richard Hyams
With only a few days to go we are finalising our preparations for the three day event.  When asked what we get out of MIPIM, as we continually are by those interested in seeing if there is value in it, I recall advice I was given by a political PR expert. When you are quizzed on a particularly difficult question, have three things you want to say, whatever the question you are asked.  So you listen, think, pause and say your three things. This is good advice for MIPIM.  Think carefully about what it is you want the event to achieve; create a method of achieving them; and don’t be swayed by the glitz of the Russian stand or the champagne on offer first thing in the morning. Only then on reflection of the week can you look back and answer whether it has been worthwhile.

Christine Murray, editor, AJ
Not in tomorrow, and on the train to MIPIM on Monday, so that makes these my last few minutes in the office. Can’t help thinking, will it really be worth a whole week away? Thinking back to last year, everything that happened in 2012, I learned about at MIPIM: London as a safe haven for foreign capital, how the lack of liquidity would hit housing starts…. What will the headline be this year? So far, we think architecture will be more central than ever, with those early CGIs critical to winning investment in a challenging market.

@studioklaschka Anyone not going to #MIPIM and want to meet B2B with a #BIM savy architect in #London?

@Davidntaylor Day one done. 100k (ish). Wet and wild. @Cycle2Cannes #MIPIM

Richard Waite news editor, AJ
Just working my way through the invites - not sure I’ll have time for the good burghers of Oulu despite claims by the Finnish City that it has ‘quickly become the capital of Northern Scandinavia’ with ‘planned investment of €100 billion between 2013-2020’.

Elsewhere Aedas has promised Swarovski Crystal-related freebies. Tempting. Some Russian developers are offering up vodka. Could be fun. And I’m intrigued what German economist Dr Jürgen Stark has got to say for himself (Thursday morning) a year after he resigned from the European Central Bank.

According to the latest figures, of the 20,000 attendees there will be 609 architects to chew the fat with - a rise of 20 from last year. In Cannes you are never more than a metre away from a design professional.

MIPIM 2013 - attendee figures

MIPIM 2013 - attendee figures

Michelle Van Vuuren
Sceptics think MIPIM is merely an excuse for a drunken hoard of 15,000 property bods to head to the South of France for a week of sunshine and champagne. They tut as they peer over their glasses, convinced of the mayhem and madness that is to ensue on the Croisette. They brush off any insinuation it is a networking function that generates deals and spurs the captains of our industry into grand decision-making frenzies, resulting in major new construction projects across the globe.  They won’t have it. They know what it’s really like. They’ve heard all the war stories from the frontline before. 

As a veteran with a number of Cannes tours of duty stripes (and occasional actual scars), I can categorically say they aren’t wrong. 

Well that infamous event is yet again upon us. The property industry’s annual gathering, like some kind of posh Glastonbury, where a makeshift city of likeminded suited and booted revellers come together to marinate in each other’s company and guzzle and chug on so much champagne that even Lily Bollinger herself would blush. I’ve already started stock piling the Milk Thistle to improve my liver’s chances at a reasonable recovery. 

As I head once more into the trenches, armed with business cards, a MIPIM pass and a basic ability to order more champagne in French, I will report daily on all the frontline shenanigans: the shocking, the wonderful, the downright mad and the utterly salacious.  

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