Uplace Innovation Lab: smart technologies and experience determine the real estate of the future

Uplace Innovation Lab: smart technologies and experience determine the real estate of the future

Uplace Machelen

• Opinion leaders such as Peter Hinssen, Steven Van Belleghem, Peter Decuypere and Chris Nouveau (Microsoft) share their view of Uplace in terms of innovation
• A unique collection of new technologies to discover
• Uplace premiered in virtual reality
Today, Uplace has once again proven its innovative character by providing a platform for inspirational speakers to give their opinion on real estate, and especially on the Uplace experience centre. More than two hundred people came to Machelen this morning, next to the site where the construction of Uplace will begin in 2017 if all goes as planned. They got their fill of inspiration and tried out the latest technologies, including a surprise visit of Uplace in virtual reality.
The daring quest for innovation is rooted in Uplace’s DNA
“Innovation is in our genes”, says Jan Van Lancker, CEO of Uplace. “We’ve been pioneers in the world of real estate for the past 30 years, whether it’s offices, logistics warehouses or Uplace, and every time, we want to offer next generation real estate. But we didn’t want to give the floor to real estate experts to focus on new building techniques yet again; we preferred to draw inspiration from opinion leaders from other sectors, people who are able to convey the message that even the finest buildings are nothing more than lifeless concrete if they’re not filled with experience.”
Uplace has always been an innovative project, right from the beginning, in so far as it is the first place to combine all (leisure) functions in one. Hotel, offices, concert hall, cinema, recreation for young and old, places to eat and drink, shopping, etc. Uplace meets all the needs of the modern consumer.

Uplace: a smart town in the city
“Clearly, the customer experience of yesterday can’t be compared with the customer experience of tomorrow. Simplicity, rapidity and facility will be our watchwords in our relations with customers of tomorrow’s world”, according to Steven Van Belleghem, business partner at nexxworks. And his nexxworks partner Peter Hinssen adds: “The digital world plays a crucial role, just like corporate culture and companies’ innovation potential. Uplace is now part of this trend, by presenting a convergent offer and investing in the technology of tomorrow”.
Peter Decuypere, the guru of the entertainment world and the person behind I Love Techno, among other things: “I call it Rock Uplace: a daily festival where you can offer visitors a wide range of experiences. They can choose when and what they’re going to eat, drink, see, experience and share, just like at a music festival. It’s up to Uplace to offer this choice”.
Michael Beal, CEO Microsoft BeLux: “The ‘Internet of Things’ will help places like Uplace to become true smart cities. By using the data collected, all your buildings become smarter, allowing you to fully focus on your experience – whether you’re offering it or enjoying it.”
“Whether it’s a question of fitting out offices, the cinema, the sustainability of the whole complex or the way in which we can best inform visitors and tenants, we’ll have everything we need to become the smartest experience destination”, adds Jan Van Lancker.

A unique virtual view of Uplace
Just as important as the speakers were the virtual reality experiences awaiting the visitors: facial recognition coupled with a visitors’ count, a 3D hologram of a sneaker, a digital colour advisor and the app that shows you the different routes to arrive at your destination. But it was above all the virtual visit of Uplace, presented for the first time here, that was appealing.
“It’s also a revelation for us to be able to visit the complex in this innovative way”, exclaims Bart Verhaeghe, President of Uplace. “You can stroll down a fairly realistic version of the shopping street, do some window shopping, visit the various terraces, or take a look in our theatre, the hotel lobby or the offices. Which makes us even more eager to start – let’s hope that we have all the permits by the end of the year, so that we can start the works in 2017. If that’s the case, everyone should be able to stroll through Uplace by 2019, not in its virtual form but in a tangible and completely real experience centre”.


Discover the highlights of our first  Innovation Lab.