PRISON H7

PRISON H7

Prison H7 was the jail block of a military barracks in a large Belgian city. The buildings were erected in eclectic style between 1890 and 1905, based on a design by the architects de Noyette and Geerling. All in all, the barracks occupy an area of ​​more than 5 acres and could house around 1300 soldiers. On October 1, 1907 the 2nd Line Regiment moved into the barracks. During the two world wars, the barracks were occupied by German troops. After the liberation, the 2nd Line Regiment did not return to its barracks. From 1955 the barracks were manned by the Center of the Health Service. The training center provided the training for the officers of the Health Service. Following the restructuring of the armed forces, a number of buildings were sold to the city, which housed the Higher Institute of Fine Arts there since 2007 (hence the statues). Other parts of the barracks are still owned by the Belgian army. Mid-March 2019 the reconversion work started to turn the barracks into a sustainable urban neighborhood where living, working and recreation meet.


PRISON H7

PRISON H7

Prison H7 was the jail block of a military barracks in a large Belgian city. The buildings were erected in eclectic style between 1890 and 1905, based on a design by the architects de Noyette and Geerling. All in all, the barracks occupy an area of ​​more than 5 acres and could house around 1300 soldiers. On October 1, 1907 the 2nd Line Regiment moved into the barracks. During the two world wars, the barracks were occupied by German troops. After the liberation, the 2nd Line Regiment did not return to its barracks. From 1955 the barracks were manned by the Center of the Health Service. The training center provided the training for the officers of the Health Service. Following the restructuring of the armed forces, a number of buildings were sold to the city, which housed the Higher Institute of Fine Arts there since 2007 (hence the statues). Other parts of the barracks are still owned by the Belgian army. Mid-March 2019 the reconversion work started to turn the barracks into a sustainable urban neighborhood where living, working and recreation meet.


PETE’S ACADEMY

PETE’S ACADEMY

I am usually not a big fan of graffiti, but sometimes it’s good to make an exception. Pete One is a well known name in Belgian urban explorer circles. His works are found in several abandoned places in the western part of Belgium and the north of France. I already posted “Pete’s Hotel” and “Petite Echelle” on earlier occasions. This one, Pete’s Academy, is a former elementary school that contains some typical Pete One artworks. As per usual he found his inspiration in American pop culture, with among others images of Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell and also one well known resident of Elm Street… 


PETE’S ACADEMY

PETE’S ACADEMY

I am usually not a big fan of graffiti, but sometimes it’s good to make an exception. Pete One is a well known name in Belgian urban explorer circles. His works are found in several abandoned places in the western part of Belgium and the north of France. I already posted “Pete’s Hotel” and “Petite Echelle” on earlier occasions. This one, Pete’s Academy, is a former elementary school that contains some typical Pete One artworks. As per usual he found his inspiration in American pop culture, with among others images of Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell and also one well known resident of Elm Street… 


USINE GONZO

USINE GONZO

Usine Gonzo is part of a traditional flax mill. The retting mill was founded at the end of the 19th century and was systematically expanded to the current site. The entire site is considered a valuable heritage, not only because of its strategic location, but also because it is one of the best preserved rettings of its kind. There are typical root pits, the steam engines with annexed chimney and a few flax barns. The engine room includes steam boilers and an exceptional steam engine, the only one of its kind to be found in Belgium. The boilers were fired with “shives”, the woody cores of the flax stalks that were separated from the flax fibers during the production process. As a result, the heating costs could almost be reduced to zero. This fuel was also used in this retting mill until the late 1970s. At the end of the 1970s the company fell into disuse. Still it would take more than 25 years before the whole was protected as an industrial heritage.


USINE GONZO

USINE GONZO

Usine Gonzo is part of a traditional flax mill. The retting mill was founded at the end of the 19th century and was systematically expanded to the current site. The entire site is considered a valuable heritage, not only because of its strategic location, but also because it is one of the best preserved rettings of its kind. There are typical root pits, the steam engines with annexed chimney and a few flax barns. The engine room includes steam boilers and an exceptional steam engine, the only one of its kind to be found in Belgium. The boilers were fired with “shives”, the woody cores of the flax stalks that were separated from the flax fibers during the production process. As a result, the heating costs could almost be reduced to zero. This fuel was also used in this retting mill until the late 1970s. At the end of the 1970s the company fell into disuse. Still it would take more than 25 years before the whole was protected as an industrial heritage.


COURTHOUSE

COURTHOUSE

After the old courthouse completely burned down at the end of the First World War, the need arose to build a new one. It wasn’t until the mid-1920s before actual plans were made for the new building. The city council organized a competition in which the Brussels architect Jerôme Vermeersch emerged as the winner. Vermeersch started building this courthouse in 1934, but due to financial considerations he needed to execute the design “more soberly” than originally planned. The corner tower turned out a lot smaller and equipped with a pear-shaped spire. Vermeersch resolutely opted for the art deco style for the interior. The building was completed and put into use in 1936. The building became too small over time and after being classified as a monument in 2008, construction of a new and modern courthouse at a different location began. The old court was abandoned in 2011. In the meantime it has been sold to a project developer, who will realize a new housing project in it, taking into account the heritage value.


COURTHOUSE

COURTHOUSE

After the old courthouse completely burned down at the end of the First World War, the need arose to build a new one. It wasn’t until the mid-1920s before actual plans were made for the new building. The city council organized a competition in which the Brussels architect Jerôme Vermeersch emerged as the winner. Vermeersch started building this courthouse in 1934, but due to financial considerations he needed to execute the design “more soberly” than originally planned. The corner tower turned out a lot smaller and equipped with a pear-shaped spire. Vermeersch resolutely opted for the art deco style for the interior. The building was completed and put into use in 1936. The building became too small over time and after being classified as a monument in 2008, construction of a new and modern courthouse at a different location began. The old court was abandoned in 2011. In the meantime it has been sold to a project developer, who will realize a new housing project in it, taking into account the heritage value.


CHATEAU LUMIERE

CHATEAU LUMIERE

Chateau Lumière was built between 1900 and 1903 by the Burrus family, who had made their fortune in the tobacco industry. The Burrus family distinguished themselves in many areas, including charitable works for the benefit of the community in which they lived, such as the construction of a football stadium, a swimming pool and homes for the elderly. The employees of the tobacco factory received much more “benefits” than the law imposed at the time, such as insurance and retirement.

The chateau was designed by Strasbourg architects Gottfried Julius Berninger and Gustave Henri Krafft in the neo-baroque style, which became popular in France at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The neo-baroque, just like the baroque, is characterized by the rich and opulent use of materials, the symmetry and the frequent use of decorations and complex patterns, which are visible in the wrought iron railings around the domain and the wrought iron banisters.

Shortly after completing the chateau, the Burrus dies and his son Maurice Burrus moves into the building. During the First World War, Maurice Burrus refused to supply the German troops with tobacco and had to flee to Switzerland. The chateau was confiscated to accommodate German officers. After the war, Maurice, by now decorated as a war hero, took over the management of the tobacco factory and became an influential figure on an industrial, financial and political level. He had to flee again during the Second World War, this time to his property in the Pyrenees. This time too, his chateau was confiscated by the German army and transformed into a training center for wounded German officers. After WWII he retired to Geneva. Chateau Lumière was initially sold to a religious order, but was later sold to a private owner. In 1993 the chateau was protected as a monument, but since it was uninhabited, it quickly became the object of vandalism. Nowadays, there is very little left of the once so beautiful chateau…


CHATEAU LUMIERE

CHATEAU LUMIERE

Chateau Lumière was built between 1900 and 1903 by the Burrus family, who had made their fortune in the tobacco industry. The Burrus family distinguished themselves in many areas, including charitable works for the benefit of the community in which they lived, such as the construction of a football stadium, a swimming pool and homes for the elderly. The employees of the tobacco factory received much more “benefits” than the law imposed at the time, such as insurance and retirement.

The chateau was designed by Strasbourg architects Gottfried Julius Berninger and Gustave Henri Krafft in the neo-baroque style, which became popular in France at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The neo-baroque, just like the baroque, is characterized by the rich and opulent use of materials, the symmetry and the frequent use of decorations and complex patterns, which are visible in the wrought iron railings around the domain and the wrought iron banisters.

Shortly after completing the chateau, the Burrus dies and his son Maurice Burrus moves into the building. During the First World War, Maurice Burrus refused to supply the German troops with tobacco and had to flee to Switzerland. The chateau was confiscated to accommodate German officers. After the war, Maurice, by now decorated as a war hero, took over the management of the tobacco factory and became an influential figure on an industrial, financial and political level. He had to flee again during the Second World War, this time to his property in the Pyrenees. This time too, his chateau was confiscated by the German army and transformed into a training center for wounded German officers. After WWII he retired to Geneva. Chateau Lumière was initially sold to a religious order, but was later sold to a private owner. In 1993 the chateau was protected as a monument, but since it was uninhabited, it quickly became the object of vandalism. Nowadays, there is very little left of the once so beautiful chateau…


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