In 2001, the owners, Michael Israeli and Yael Argaman, discovered business opportunities in the real estate sector of the major markets in Europe, and founded Casiopea Group Company in Budapest, Hungary. They have been active in the CEE (Central East Europe) region since 1997.
Several other Casiopea affiliate companies were subsequently opened: in Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovenia and Israel. Due to the large scale of planning in Europe, the owners decided to set Casiopea's headquarter in Budapest.
Casiopea Group is one of first international design firms to enter the CEE market, and among the biggest leading architectural design groups: with over 20 years of extensive experience.
Our services: consultancy, feasibility studies, conceptual design, full scope detailed design – execution plans. Casiopea’s team consists of highly experienced Architects and engineering team in all design segments. We are acting either as the General Designer, or a Leading Architect, cooperating with local architects and all required consultant engineers.
Design Management: In Europe, the architect also serves as the project design coordinator (general designer) and being responsible for the design coordination of engineering team and overall planning (structure, mechanical, electrical fire, landscape, etc.) as well as being in straight contractual relationship with the developer. . Casiopea cooperates with over 100 highly professional subcontracted engineers in all areas of design as well as special architectural staff.
Interior design and furniture design – additionally of acting as a general designer, we provide also interior and furniture design services mainly for commercial, cinema complexes and hotel projects. We create unique and exclusive designs for each project by combing tailormade furniture and readymade mobile elements. In some projects Casiopea acts only as interior designer while on other projects we are also the furniture provider. Among our projects there are entertainment facilities, lobbies, restaurants, Café's & bars, hotels, shopping centers, Airbnb flats, etc.
The company is specialized in designing mid- and large-scale mixed-use projects.
The company’s portfolio includes various types of projects:
- Retail projects - Design of more than 60 shopping centers and retail schemes. Over 25 shopping malls were constructed. As a Retail design experts, having gained a extensive experience, working with both – Leading Developers in Europe (TriGranit, Plaza Centers, AEW Europe, ImmoFinanz, Atrium Centers, Immochan , Asthrom International, WING, Raiffeisen investment fund, , Atrium centers , NEPI-Rockcastle, etc.) and Retailers (Tesco Hypermarket, H&M, New Yorker, More Shops and others), Casiopea Group has the ability to observe the wide picture of the project, create the right concept and find the most cost efficient and sustainable solutions for long lasting successful projects, also concerning maintenance costs and needs.
- Refurbishment of existing projects: Casiopea Group has expanded practice in renovation of existing shopping centers as well as in conversion of buildings with different functions into shopping centers. We redesign the public area, maximize the potential of the existing scheme, add new GLA, and improve the functionality and maintenance aspects.
- Residential projects - Over 20,000 designed apartments, covering nearly 900,000 m² of built area, of which over 9,000 apartments were successfully completed and handed over. Our Residential projects are mainly for the mid-class category. Casiopea created a unique concept fitting the design to the relatively low price per flat unit. This was made possible by the design of compact and efficient apartments, while maximizing the number of rooms relative to the built-up area, and saving on parking places. The architectural design at the same time is not at all indicative of a low budget project. Our residential projects are modern, elegant interpretation of design style applying simple building materials.
- Cinema complexes and Entertainment facilities – Design of more than 100 cinema halls with around 17,000 seats in the last several years in Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania and Slovenia. Futuristic fantasy design combined with video screens and lighting effects, leading the visitor to the world of movies.
- Public buildings – Government offices - Israeli Ministry of Justice, schools, sports halls, City Halls, Hotels, etc.
- Academic institutes for Cyber technology, University Campuses, Technology Incubator, dormitories.
- Urban design of industrial zones, residential settlements and neighborhoods planning, Inner city urban development – demolition and reconstruction of residential zones with upgrading the building rights.
We believe that when planning a project, wherever it is, the architect should apply three main aspects with equal balance: esthetical aspect, functionality and cost efficiency. Our such approach is very much appreciated by our clients.
Parallel to the above activities, the History of Casiopea Group, begins in 1998 when the first architectural design firm was established by the owners in Israel: Israeli Argaman Architects. The company was of medium size, and it’s main activity focused on public buildings, shopping centers and urban design.
Since 2007, Casiopea Group and Argaman Israeli Architects are being directed by Yael Argaman.
In 2007, Michael Israeli left Casiopea as active director and established real-estate development companies, among them were 2007 - Atrium centers in Budapest – specialized in shopping centers, In 2013 - Atrium Residence LLC in New York - developing midrange residential projects In 2014 - GRANIT real-estate development - in Israel - developing residential buildings in major cities of Israel and In 2017 - Vibe properties in Romania – specialized in big residential complexes.