COOLING TOWER ‘PETITE MAISON’

COOLING TOWER ‘PETITE MAISON’

A power station traditionally has a cooling tower. This particular cooling tower is part of the Blue Power Plant (to be featured in an upcoming post), which is located across the street. It is a smaller model than Cooling Tower IM, but the way it works is exactly the same. Only this one has a mysterious little house (petite maison) in the middle of it. Nobody seems to know why it is there.. The cabin is completely empty and therefore contains no indication of the reason for its presence there. That mystery undoubtedly adds to the charm of the construction. A construction that is not that easy to enter, by the way. The external staircase to the entrance door was removed a few years ago. If you want to admire the inside of the cooling tower and the mysterious little house, you have no choice but to climb the woodwork on the inside…


FACTORY G

FACTORY G

In an earlier report I already introduced you to the beautiful Factory H, the younger brother of this Factory G. Of the four silo buildings that can be found here, this is undoubtedly the most beautiful and also the most interesting. It is the oldest of the cluster and was built in 1895 as one of the earliest realizations of Frans van Dijk, an Antwerp architect, who would later leave his mark on the architecture in the city.

Factory G is a grain warehouse with a dual function: storage and aeration. The building was equipped with two front facades with two towers, in which the grain was transported via “Jacob’s ladders” (a vertical conveyor system with a circumferential belt on which a continuous series of trays is mounted). Once at the top, the grain was transported via conveyor belts to the 144 vertical silos in the middle part of the building. The building suffered considerable damage at the end of the Second World War. The repair was a good opportunity to build a new and larger distribution floor. Three double portal bridges of reinforced concrete were installed in this open space as a function of horizontal transport. The silo buildings were admired and praised throughout Europe for the revolutionary way in which they could sort, treat and store grain.


WASSERWERKE

WASSERWERKE

This former sewage treatment plant is a classified industrial building in the German industrial town of Krefeld. The building was designed by architect George “Jörg” Bruggaier and is considered an architecturally important example of the Jugendstil. The factory, built between 1908 and 1910, was used to purify the sewage of the entire city of Krefeld. It is one of the last remaining purification plants from the early days of urban purification systems in Germany. Until 1962 the treatment plant was used in the original state of waste water. From then until 1996 it was – after the installation of special new jacks – only continued as a pumping station. In 1996 the whole was rendered obsolete when an adjacent new pumping station was opened. In addition to the large hall (main building), which includes two sewer channels, an overflow channel and the hall crane, there is also the lime pumping station (engine room) and the manager’s residence (living area approx. 74 m² – built in 1921/1922 according to plans by the architect Anton Rumpen). The original sluice house is still owned by the Krefeld municipal company for sewerage technical reasons and today serves as access to rainwater flooding.

The old purification station was purchased by 4 friends, who want to give it a new purpose, while respecting the historic and architectural character of the building. To keep vandals out, the building was recently protected with cameras and motion detectors and can only be visited with permission…


WASSERWERKE

WASSERWERKE

This former sewage treatment plant is a classified industrial building in the German industrial town of Krefeld. The building was designed by architect George “Jörg” Bruggaier and is considered an architecturally important example of the Jugendstil. The factory, built between 1908 and 1910, was used to purify the sewage of the entire city of Krefeld. It is one of the last remaining purification plants from the early days of urban purification systems in Germany. Until 1962 the treatment plant was used in the original state of waste water. From then until 1996 it was – after the installation of special new jacks – only continued as a pumping station. In 1996 the whole was rendered obsolete when an adjacent new pumping station was opened. In addition to the large hall (main building), which includes two sewer channels, an overflow channel and the hall crane, there is also the lime pumping station (engine room) and the manager’s residence (living area approx. 74 m² – built in 1921/1922 according to plans by the architect Anton Rumpen). The original sluice house is still owned by the Krefeld municipal company for sewerage technical reasons and today serves as access to rainwater flooding.

The old purification station was purchased by 4 friends, who want to give it a new purpose, while respecting the historic and architectural character of the building. To keep vandals out, the building was recently protected with cameras and motion detectors and can only be visited with permission…


BUREAU CENTRAL

BUREAU CENTRAL

This huge building belonged to the nearby blast furnace company, which had several branches in the area. Little information is available about the history of the building itself. The original building was erected in the last quarter of the 18th century and experienced some substantial changes and expansions in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. The building housed the central management and the administration of the blast furnace company. The building, which is now outdated, was abandoned at the beginning of the 1980s and since then its decline has progressed rapidly, notwithstanding its classification as a heritage in 1987. The central hall with arched skylight in particular has suffered greatly from the elements that have free rein there. The impressive building, with long, endless-looking corridors and diffuse light that hits them, is a dream location for photographers with a preference for abandoned and derelict buildings. The estate was originally home to the castle of the noble family who owned the company, but it was demolished a few years ago. It looks like this beautiful office building will suffer the same fate if renovation work does not start soon…


MISSION TO MARS

MISSION TO MARS

These special “dome greenhouses” are located in a far corner of an almost 35-acres monastery garden. The garden itself was mentioned for the first time around 1805. It was then laid out in the form of an English garden. Until 2005 the park was privately owned, after which it was bought by the city, which made it available to the public as a public facility. This beautiful former monastery garden had been degrading for years, because the nuns could only perform the most necessary tasks. With the takeover by the city, the park was brought back to life and the more than 200 year old private garden was transformed into a park for the citizens. The ponds were detoxified, the undergrowth was removed from the park and everything was cleaned. By that time, the whole estate was included on the list of heritage to be protected.

These spectacular domes were built in 1987. The domes served as greenhouse learning facilities to offer the long-term unemployed in a nursery training and thus give them a new perspective on integration into the labor market. The design of the domes can be traced back to the American engineer and philosopher Richard Buckminster Fuller. He experimented for NASA to find the most energetic-synergetic form. His pavilion “Biosphere”, designed for the EXPO 1967 in Montreal, a huge 200 feet high geodesic dome was admired worldwide. These greenhouses are in fact refined geometric shapes, so-called geodesic domes. The surface consists of a series of alternating hexagonal and pentagonal surfaces. Well assembled, they result in spherical, self-supporting buildings. They can be connected to each other endlessly. 24 such greenhouses were built and grouped in different “bullet families”. The domes are not only very intelligent buildings, because they can sustain without support, they also optimized to defy weather and wind. The city, as the new owner of the surrounding park, is currently working in consultation with the private owner of the greenhouses to reopen the project as a learning facility.


USINE S

USINE S

Sheep wool contains many impurities, such as lanolin (wool fat) and suint (sweat wool). Traditionally, wool washing was done directly in the river or by means of alkaline and hot baths in tubs and special machines. However, the lanolin, which is insoluble in water, could not be separated with this procedure. This factory, which was established at the beginning of the 20th century, used a new and revolutionary process, imported from the United Stated, which consisted of treating the fatty wool with naphtha or petroleum gasoline. This absolutely neutral product does not affect the fiber of the wool and only leaves it the percentage of fat that is needed to maintain its natural flexibility and elasticity. The naphtha is subsequently removed from the remaining wool by evaporation. Another interesting result of the “solventage” was the recovery of the fat extracted from the wool: completely pure lanolin. One of the various uses of wool-extracted lanolin was the manufacture of pharmaceutical soap and lanolin for the maintenance of hides and skins, but it can also be used in the preparation of oils, fat, wax, ointments, consistent fats, and so on.


CHAPELLE DE LA ROSE

CHAPELLE DE LA ROSE

At the end of the 13th century a convent was erected on the instructions of a noble lady who lived in this town. The convent at the same time served as a hospital and a monastery for the Augustinian sisters, who were responsible for the care of the sick. Barring a short interruption at the time of the French Revolution, they continued to do so until the early 1980s. The hospital had since been transformed into a nursing home. After the sisters’ departure, the retirement home was taken over by the local government.

The showpiece of the monastery was this late Gothic chapel, founded in the early 17th century. For a long time it was a place of pilgrimage for the cure of intestinal disorders. During a fire in the early 2000s, part of the monastery was destroyed, but fortunately the chapel was spared. In its current state, the chapel consists of two parts: the original chapel, constructed in late Gothic style from brick and bluestone. An extension in neoclassical style, dating from the mid-19th century, formed a physical connection between the existing chapel and the hospital, to give patients the opportunity to attend the worship services from the balcony. At the back of the chapel, on the left, you can still see the old refectory, also built in brick and blue stone with a beautiful vintage facade from the early 17th century.


CHARLIES CHAPEL

CHARLIES CHAPEL

This single-aisled brick chapel in honor of Our Lady of Seven Woes was built in 1883 in neo-gothic style. It is located on the castle domain of Chateau Jumanji and served as a neighborhood chapel and starting point for the district procession. The chapel contains a three-sided choir with a painted wooden altar and with a polychrome statue of Our Lady of Seven Woees. Behind the iron closing gate is a ship with benches. On the walls; white painted images of saints on baroque consoles with angel figures including Saint Joseph, Saint Anthony and Saint Margaret. Although it is listed as heritage, the chapel is in a particularly deplorable condition and there are noticeable cracks in the walls and multiple subsidence. Since the chapel was opened, the situation has only deteriorated visibly. Several statues were destroyed by vandalism. As part of the renovation work on the manor, the chapel has already been emptied in light of the pending renovation…


TOWN MANSION

TOWN MANSION

The impressive Town Mansion was built in 1912 by order of the son of a German entrepreneur who had been based in Antwerp since the mid-19th century and was one of the founders of what would later become the transatlantic shipping company Red Star Line. He inhabited the mansion, with his wife and two sons, until his death in 1937. The eclectic-style mansion with the neo-Louis XVI slant belongs to the later oeuvre of the architect, who built a large number of distinguished townhouses in eclectic and neo-Flemish Renaissance style in Antwerp during the first decades of his career, but later focused on industrial architecture. After the death of the original occupant, the property was sold to a large family, akin to a major inland shipping company. Numerous adjustments and embellishments to the house date from his period, such as the figurative stained glass windows, the paneling and the gold leather in the rear salon and in the large salon the room-wide figurative frieze with classical themes and scenes referring to his trading activities in shipping. After the death of the owner of the house in 1961, his widow continued to live in the mansion until 1963, after which it became the property of the Belgian State. The valuable furniture of this building, which is often inextricably linked to the wall-fixed decoration (tapestries, incorporated into the paneling, paintings on the mantelpieces, and so on), is the property of the provincial administration and has been kept in storage for many years. The intention was to house the official residence of the governor there, but in view of the major renovation costs that the re-use would entail, this never happened. The building has been vacant since the early 1990s, resulting in several squatters. In the spring of 2018 the property was sold to a private owner who wishes to remain anonymous.

Due to Tumblr limitations only a small selection of photos is posted here. Check out the full album on my website!


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