(c) Séverin Malaud



The Manchesterstreet in Molenbeek connects a chain of creative places. There are Charleroi Danse at n° 21, the Recyclart and Vaartkapoen at n° 13-15 and Jozef Wouters’ Decoratelier in the buildings around the courtyard at n° 17-19, a broad panel of artistic creativity grouped together in one street. In this context, the Société d’Aménagement Urbain (SAU) wants to redevelop and renovate the industrial buildings on the sites of Manchesterstraat nrs. 13-19 in order to turn them into a hub for artistic and cultural production. The objectives of this assignment include the revaluation of the rich industrial past of the buildings and the creation of interaction with the numerous creative initiatives in the Heyvaert neighbourhood. This is a strategic project within the framework of the Urban Renewal Contract (CRU) Heyvaert-Poincaré.

Therefore, the SAU is looking for a multidisciplinary team (architecture, stability engineer, special techniques engineer, environmental and sustainability expertise including PEB, health and safety coordination and citizen participation). The challenge of the assignment is to jump on the “moving train”. After all, a preliminary study has already examined the site’s spatial, programmatic and economic potential. The regional government also approved a redevelopment scenario. The team sought will therefore have to adopt a flexible approach to working with the “already existing”: taking into account decided policies, ongoing adaptation works, temporary and permanent users…

The team will constructively challenge the ongoing ideas, in dialogue with the various stakeholders, and bring this project to a successful conclusion based on an overall development vision for this new artistic hotspot.
Finally, the design for the circulation, an appropriate revaluation of the two courtyards and the creation of a new front along the Manchesterstreet are some of the special challenges of this assignment.

The project consists of one fixed and five conditional parts.