Ghelamco, The Family-Owned European Real Estate Investor And Developer, Unveils Its First UK Property Venture, The Arc, EC1


Spearheaded by 27-year-old Marie-Julie Gheysens, The Arc is a new fully electric development in Shoreditch featuring 100 new residential homes, 160,000 sq. ft of office and retail space, and a health and wellness hub with 413 cycle spaces.

Ghelamco, the major European pioneering real estate business, renowned for the creation of sustainable, energy neutral concepts, has officially launched The Arc, a mixed-use hub – its first venture into the UK property market.

Established in 1985 by Paul Gheysens, the family-owned business is now spearheaded in the UK by his 27-year old daughter Marie-Julie. Beyond creating urban homes, offices and retail, the developer’s track record includes branded residences, golf courses, football stadiums and hotels.

Located just moments from Shoreditch and Islington, The Arc, EC1 is named after the luminescent arches at the entrance. Designed by award-winning architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, the mixed-use development was inspired by both Star Wars and New York’s Meatpacking District, with its luminous interiors and the industrial charm of the Art Moderne red façade. Merging the craftmanship and heritage of the WWII pillars from a previous hospital on the site, with the building’s contemporary 22-storey, tiered form cuts a statuesque figure against its neighbours, making it one of the most visually striking buildings on City Road. 

Pioneers and market leaders in sustainable developments, Ghelamco’s holistic approach towards sustainability is one-of-a-kind. The Arc is fully electric boasting carbon emissions 30 per cent lower than its multi-fuel-operated competitors; with triple certifications including BREEAM, WELL Gold, alongside being the first UK development to be DGNB gold certified. 

With a focus on wellbeing, the mixed-use hub will feature 100 stylish new homes on the top 15 floors, comprising of a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments designed by Bowler James Brindley. Calm living spaces are composed of cool stones, soft woods and beautifully finished fixtures and fittings, whilst wide, floor-to-ceiling windows flood each apartment with a spectrum of light. Furthermore, the majority of apartments are complete with balconies and winter gardens – providing a sanctuary in the heart of EC1. 

Marie-Julie Gheysens, head of UK, international business development at Ghelamco, says: “I’m delighted to be representing women in construction as I believe there are no more barriers around gender – the baton was passed from my father to me to bring Ghelamco to the UK. The firm was set by up my father over 35 years ago and is still a family business today, meaning that we do everything in-house – a building is our own product from A to Z and we plan everything down to the tiniest detail. This level of passion can be seen throughout The Arc and we very much look forward to working on new projects in the UK over the coming months as we strive to create entire environments, with health, wellness and sustainability at the core.” 

The ultimate office and world-class amenities

The Arc will be home to 160,000 sq. ft. of brand-new office and retail space, unifying sustainable design with super -fast fibre smart technology. Future office tenants will also benefit from access to the expansive roof terrace and lounge on the 7th floor, whilst a dedicated lobby will sit beside new retailers and a destination restaurant on the ground floor. The lower ground floor will also feature 413 secure cycle spaces within a dedicated ‘cycle hub’, available for both residents and office workers. The building will, in effect, be a ‘campus’ and will create a place for innovation by providing an inspiring working and living environment, centred on the TMT industry. 

Furthermore, both residents and office tenants at The Arc will benefit from a suite of first-class amenities, including a dedicated 24/7 concierge team, a lounge area for socialising and working, a 13-seat private cinema room and a state-of-the-art golf simulation room. Residents will also have exclusive access to a private fitness suite, complete with a yoga studio and a treatment room. The Arc will be digitally supported via an app, which will enable residents to chat with the concierge team 24/7, book amenities, arrange social events, alongside providing remote lift access, to ensure a touch-free experience. 

An abundance of urban greenspace

Outdoor space at The Arc has been designed with urban biodiversity in mind. The Arc’s residents and office tenants will also have access to a plethora of greenspace, including an expansive open-air terrace, which has been designed by Grant Associates – the landscape architects behind the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. The terrace will boast panoramic views across the City and Shoreditch and will be able to host up to 50 people for celebrations.

There will also be private winter gardens, alongside terraces and private balconies – ensuring that there are a variety of spaces to relax and unwind or to entertain guests. Landscaping at The Arc has also been designed with urban biodiversity in mind and features a plethora of edible plants, including Ostrich Fern, Round Headed Leeks and Allium Neapolitanum – also known as Daffodil Garlic. Additional plants include Salvia Verticillate, also known as ‘purple rain’, which the butterflies love and bee friendly flowers are in abundance too, such as Vincas and Astrantias. 

A village-style neighbourhood at the crossroads of five dynamic districts

Living and working at The Arc means experiencing every side of London’s complex character as the building sits on the crossroads of five dynamic districts: Old Street, Shoreditch, The City, Angel and Clerkenwell. Future residents and office workers will have everything and more on their doorstep – from Shoreditch’s creative concept bars and member’s clubs to Clerkenwell’s interior design boutiques and charming village-like atmosphere.

The development is situated just minutes from Old Street, London’s undisputed tech hub, which is vibrating with creative entrepreneurial energy, and interspersed with hidden street food markets and beautiful old warehouse buildings. Residents and office tenants can also choose from 10 Michelin Star restaurants in the surrounding area. 

The Arc is also conveniently located within a 40-minute radius of some of London’s most illustrious intellectual powerhouses, including Central Saint Martins, University College London, London School of Economics and Imperial College London – making it the ideal place to live for those studying in the city. With Old Street station undergoing a major renovation and high-speed Crossrail and The Elizabeth Line on its way to Farringdon, The Arc will give future residents and office workers unparalleled connectivity across London and beyond. 


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