van Bergen Kolpa Architecten

Manufakture Abattoir Brussels

Client: Brussels abattoir
Project: multifunctional food building with 3200 m2 meat-cutting workshops, above-ground parking with 432 parking spaces and public swimming pool complex with indoor and outdoor swimming pools
Design: META Architectuurbureau and van Bergen Kolpa Architecten
Location: Abattoir Brussels Belgium
Construction costs: 26mi euros
Planning: private selection 2019 (2nd prize)
Construction: Ney & partners

Manufakture is a design for a multifunctional food building on the Abattoir site; the oldest former cattle market in the Anderlecht district in the center of Brussels. The striking building is one of the new and iconic "urban warehouses" around the future Market square.

The building is a flexible skeleton filled with a stack of functions. In the plinth there are meat cutting workshops around a logistics hall and facilities for the market master. Above it is a two-level parking for visitors and market staff. The parking structure can also be transformed into food workshops in the long term. A swimming pool complex with a view of the Brussels skyline is located on the roof. The indoor and outdoor pools are heated with the residual heat from the cooling of the food workshops.

The symmetrical layout of the building, in the heart of the urban axis of the site, forms a powerful ensemble with the historic market hall opposite.
The total building manifests itself as a strong sculpture made up of a rhythm of robust concrete frames refined with reclining fillings of glass and slightly shiny metal plate.

Abattoir site
The Abattoir site has long been known as the place for cattle trade in combination with a slaughterhouse and meat cutting workshops. But the site has undergone a true metamorphosis in recent years. Not only is the anticipated reduction in meat consumption and the production and processing of other food types taken into account. The Abattoir site is also revived spatially, programmatically and energetically on the basis of a multi-year Master Plan with new public space, commercial functions and sustainable energy generation.

Durable construction
The building is conceived as a construction for eternity. The resistant, durable concrete structure is a passe-partout for changing use, both today and within 30 years or 300 years. The neutral structure with uninterrupted floor plates on a 7.80m x 7.80m axle size can be flexibly arranged to be able to accommodate numerous functions such as hospitality, trade or school building in the future. For this purpose, circulation and pipe shafts are provided as "separate" components on the outside of the structure. These stairs, lifts and parking spiral can easily be adapted or expanded with, for example, a goods or truck lift or escalator.

Finally, the relatively deep construction volume of 115m x 60m has been optimized for future use with a central patio, so that the building enjoys good daylight.

Circular pricipes
The Manufakture building is prepared for the circular ambitions of the Abattoir site. Part of the materialization of the building is realized in renewable biobased sandwich panels. Circular principles have also been integrated into energy and water management. The indoor and outdoor pools are heated with the residual heat from the cooling of the food workshops. And the process water from the food workshops in the building is collected for reuse. Finally, the roofs are used for the generation of solar power.

Logistical Hall and Ateliers
The meat cutting workshops on the ground floor require a smooth supply and removal of refrigerated food items by trucks. In order to minimize the inconvenience of these industrial activities to the environment, a central logistics hall is provided in the heart of the building. The internal organization of logistics makes it possible to create a multifaceted and lively plinth around the public space.

Through two easily controllable access gates, the thermally and acoustically separated hall is accessed, within which all necessary dock shelters are provided. In the logistics hall, food items can be transported directly, without interrupting the cold chain, to the surrounding cutting workshops. The column-free hall with monumental proportions has a roof made of glass and steel that frequently lets in daylight, allowing for a changing use to, for example, a public or sports hall in the future.

420 public parking spaces are provided in the intermediate layers of the building at levels +2 and +3, accessible via a parking spiral. The grid of columns offers the possibility of configuring a maximum efficient parking that can be transformed into an expansion with food workshops in the future. There is a safe walking path all around that in the long term can form an interesting high-level gallery for future studio functions.

Urban roof
At level +5 is the public swimming pool complex consisting of three indoor swimming pools and an outdoor swimming pool situated around a catering facility with a sunny outdoor terrace. The cooling installations of the food workshops on level 0 ensure a heat recovery that the swimming pool complex can enjoy. From the indoor and outdoor pools you have a spectacular view of the Brussels skyline.