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Interim solution sought for new SNCB HQ

One of the main topics covered by the Brussels Region at the recent Mipim exhibition was how temporary occupation can help to provide short term solutions to empty buildings. There is now a concrete example of the thinking, involving a building alongside the South Station.

The commune of St.Gilles and the SNCB have launched a tender for projects to temporarily occupy the former postal sorting centre on the Avenue Fonsny. A part of the ground floor of this building is thus available for projects and complementary activities which are in line with the social, cultural, artistic, economic and participative dimensions of the district. The call for tenders is looking to find a mixed use project which will involve the inhabitants of the zone, and which will be capable of managing the whole operation. It forms part of a wider plan to create what is describes as a ‘living station’ in and around South Station.

The building in question has been unoccupied for several years. Once the temporary occupation period (undefined) is over, it will be entirely renovated and become the new headquarters building of the SNCB. All of this is included in a Territorial Use Plan (PAD) which is aiming to reinforce the functional and social mix of the district, create employment and provide a convivial atmosphere for local residents and users of the station.
Tim Harrup

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