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… 


BIBLIOPOLIS This beautiful lib…

BIBLIOPOLIS

This beautiful library, dubbed
Bibliopolis in urban exploring circles, is the school library of a college that
was founded in the first half of the 17th century. The college was of Catholic
character and included a kindergarten, a primary school, a college and a
secondary school. Originally the institution was reserved for boys, but in the
1980s it was opened to girls and from then on, received both boys and girls, in
boarding, half board and day school. The library itself was built in the first
half of the 20th century and contained some remarkable pieces, including an
original copy of the encyclopaedia by Diderot and d’Alembert. After years of
persistent financial problems, the college was forced to close its doors in
2012. The whole quickly fell into disrepair and in particular the library
became the victim of theft and vandalism. Valuable copies of books disappeared
or were destroyed. A plan to reopen the school was discontinued in 2016, after
which the decline gradually increased.


BIBLIOPOLIS This beautiful lib…

BIBLIOPOLIS

This beautiful library, dubbed
Bibliopolis in urban exploring circles, is the school library of a college that
was founded in the first half of the 17th century. The college was of Catholic
character and included a kindergarten, a primary school, a college and a
secondary school. Originally the institution was reserved for boys, but in the
1980s it was opened to girls and from then on, received both boys and girls, in
boarding, half board and day school. The library itself was built in the first
half of the 20th century and contained some remarkable pieces, including an
original copy of the encyclopaedia by Diderot and d’Alembert. After years of
persistent financial problems, the college was forced to close its doors in
2012. The whole quickly fell into disrepair and in particular the library
became the victim of theft and vandalism. Valuable copies of books disappeared
or were destroyed. A plan to reopen the school was discontinued in 2016, after
which the decline gradually increased.


OWL SCHOOL

OWL SCHOOL

The least one might say about this Owl School is that it has had a turbulent history. It was the first Flemish “normal school” (a teacher training college), founded in 1816 under the reign of King William I. It was established as a “national breeding school” (a training institute for teachers), to raise Dutch-language education to a higher level of quality. There were not only Flemish students, but also “refugees” from other parts of the Netherlands, Wallonia and Luxembourg. The school experienced a big bloom. After the Belgian Revolution it was taken over by the Catholic Church, who continued the teacher training. The school played a crucial role in the defense of state education. Although after the education law of 1842 it became a “state normal school", the leadership remained in the hands of priests, because it was no easy task to find properly trained directors outside the Catholic Church.

The original school buildings were largely destroyed during the First World War. Thanks to the generous compensation of the German war damage, the opportunity was found to erect new, modern buildings. Most of the current buildings date from 1926. After the Second World War the offer was extended to a secondary department (training for high school teachers). The school flourished, but nevertheless saw a relapse after the school reform of 1970. In 2012, the 195 year old history of the “Rijksnormaalschool” came to an end. The main reason was the outdated infrastructure. The city was looking for a different function of the site, with the aim of preserving as many of the historic buildings as possible. A redevelopment project will transform the former school into a mix of functions: housing, work and retail. From January 2019 the works will start…


LYCEE V In 1865 the liberal to…

LYCEE V

In
1865 the liberal town council – largely influenced by the ongoing women’s
emancipation movement – deemed the time right for a school for higher education
for girls. The catholics were opposed to this idea, in which they saw a place
of sheer wickedness and a breeding ground for liberal thinking. After two years
of bickering the catholic authorities gave their blessing. Immediately the town
council issued a design contest and the design of two Brussels architects was
elected as the winner. Building started in 1874 and was completed in 1876. The
result was a remarkable building characterized by the imposing pilars,
supporting a broad triangular pediment with wide cornice, in which the coat of
arms of the city boasts. The classrooms are divided over two stories around a
central playground under a glass roof. After the merge with another local
school, the girls left the building and a nurse school settled here for a
while. Right before the turn of the millennium the building was sold to a
utilitarian company and has been vacant ever since. The institution intends
using the place as its headquarters, but in spite of the necessary builders
permits, start of the renovation has been awaited since the middle of 2016…


GREEN SCHOOLThe history of this college goes back to the middle…

GREEN SCHOOL

The history of this college goes back to the
middle of the nineteenth century. As an answer to the severe lack of decent
and affordable education in the city, this catholic entrepreneur and landowner
started a school in 1862 inside existing buildings that were formerly used as
industrial spaces. In 1868 he donated the property to the nearby diocese. During
the next year, the school was expanded with a teachers residence. Between 1881
and 1883 all of the existing building, including the teachers residence, were
demolished and form 1883 onward a new school was built in neogothic style. The
building of this new school was largely funded by the former owner of the
property. Originally the institution was a secondary school that also provided
in agricultural education. By the beginning of the 1960’s the secondary school
moved into new buildings and this school only remained in use for the primary
school. After a merge with other schools at the beginning of the millennium all
of the buildings were vacated. In 2016 the chapel was destroyed by a raging fire.


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