First Class A office tower to open in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s first Class A office tower is slated to open in early 2021, serving as an important milestone in the redevelopment of the country’s capital, Tashkent, and a sign of the country’s economic momentum.
Designed by Istanbul-based architectural practice DOME+PARTNERS, the Orient Business Center is a development of Uzbekistan’s Orient Group, a diversified holding company active in real estate development, retail, and manufacturing.
The 11-story tower is the first major commission for DOME+PARTNERS in Uzbekistan and builds on a portfolio of prestigious projects in neighboring Kazakhstan.
Lead architect Murat Yilmaz noted that Orient Business Center will be the first example of contemporary architecture in its neighborhood, “setting an example of future construction in the area.” Yilmaz and his team worked closely with the client to develop a concept that was architecturally significant and also environmentally sustainable. The business center is designed in accordance with LEED environmental standards where possible.
A curving glass façade, built with energy-efficient glazing and topped with distinctive sunshades that lend character to the building, distinguishes the business center from the angular brick and concrete facades typical in Tashkent. Yilmaz and his team sought to incorporate as much daylight as possible into the design, drawing on “recent research that shows how important natural light is for wellbeing and health.”
The commitment to wellbeing, which was a key part of the brief put forward by Orient Group, is fulfilled through the open-plan layouts, which are still unusual in Uzbekistan. Tenants can adapt layouts according to their needs. The building also boasts a rooftop terrace, offering views over central Tashkent.
A growing number of multinational companies are establishing operations in Uzbekistan, a country of 34 million people. Since 2016, the Uzbek economy has been buoyed by an ambitious program of market liberalization. Construction is booming in Tashkent as developers race to meet market demand for high-quality office space.
Orient Business Center is positioned at the very top of this market. Tenants will enjoy concierge services, administrative support, access to a conference center, and underground parking. Ground-floor retail has been planned with convenience in mind and includes a Makro supermarket (an Orient Group company), a dry cleaner, a bank, and a restaurant and café.
The development is already winning accolades. In this year’s Central Asian Forum of Commercial Real Estate Tashkent awards, Orient Business Center scored the highest points among all entrants for its “developed concept, the quality of interior and exterior design, the quality of engineering systems, as well as for the use of energy-saving technologies at the facility,” according Aliya Serikpaeva, the competition organizer.
Pascale Pouyet, a senior executive at Orient Group, said that while it proved challenging to complete the building in the face of COVID-19 restrictions, the project has become an “even more important symbol of [the group’s] optimism about the growing opportunities Uzbekistan.”