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KBC building - too old at 25

Image: Jaspers-Eyers
Image: Jaspers-Eyers

In a further demonstration of just how quickly buildings are considered obsolete these days, the communal authorities in Molenbeek have just approved the demolition of the KBC buildings along the canal front alongside the Tour & Taxis complex. It should be pointed out that some further debate within the commune is still to take place, however. A second vote may take place. There are also some reservations from Brussels Environment, and local residents may have something to say too.

Nevertheless, the very existence of this dossier, which has been on the table since the previous administration, is a sign of the times. The complex was built just 25 years ago by the then ‘Atelier d’Art Urbain’ (Sefik Birkiye) and was even one of the subjects of a hard back book published by the Atelier d’Art Urbain called ‘Canal Front’.

The project which is set to replace the KBC buildings would see 244 apartments, a 139-room hotel , 1,500 m² of offices and 1,300 m² of retail activities, along with a crèche. This fits in with the overall desire to bring more residential accommodation and mixed use to the canal side. The plans are for four buildings including three 12-storey towers, along with a green area. The current buildings are considered not to be suitable for conversion.
Tim Harrup
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