The Brussels Meat Market District Masterplan develops an urban and architectural scenario for the gradual conversion of an industrial slaughterhouse site into a mixed urban environment. The district is located in the immigrant neighborhood of Anderlecht, Belgium less than 1km (0.6mi) from Brussels South train station.
The district is vibrant but lacks public services and economic opportunities. The slaughterhouse and open space adjacent is a prominent zone for economic exchange of goods and services. The plan seeks to renew the historical civic importance of the industrial quarter by energizing pre-existing meat market industries, renovating the public plaza, reconnecting hitherto fragmented neighborhoods, and creating additional space for economic opportunities.
Physical and visual through connections in the existing fabric will create multiple links between the Abattoir site and the surrounding neighborhoods. In this way, the site will become a focal point. The master plan proposes to create a 60,000 m2 urban space at the center of the site, which can host other socio-cultural events alongside market activities.
The space has a very clear outline. The new plan defines its borders by a typology of urban warehouses, open-ended containers, buildings that have a clear urban form, but no predefined content. The warehouse form and type, not just end use and program, are essential to defining the spatial condition of the square and encourage investment and occupation. The warehouse form is compact with various strategies for light and air, and with the addition of tower elements, which can be seen from far away and further strengthen their form and demarcation of the public zone.
Professional urban planners, designers, technology, and financial experts from ORG2 have been guiding and advising the district redevelopment for more than 8 years. While designing the plan, we also guided neighborhood and city outreach and consensus building; created a ‘quality chamber’ to review the ongoing work and submit it to critiques of key civic stakeholders; did the economic modeling; applied and found grants to support capital improvements; and developed a sequence of pilot projects, where each investment triggered the opening up of a site somewhere else, thus allowing for a domino-effect of implementation. The first market building was completed in June 2015 (link), with building 2 in concept and feasibility design.
Location Brussels , Belgium
Client Abattoir, Brussels
Year 2009 — 2018
Type Design Development
Program mixed, public, landscape, infrastructure, residential
Team Luk Peeters, Alexander D’Hooghe, Wim François, Katrien Theunis, Joseph O’Connor