Abandoned cattle food factory dating back to 1930. In 1971, a company takeover took place and in the years to come, the new owner took over even more factories in the region. When the factory grounds were sold to a project developer, this factory became abandoned and will eventually be demolished, making place for future residential projects.
When in 1842 François Scheppers left his trade house in Brussels to build a modern factory in Lot, a quaint village near the Belgian capital, it kick-started a migration wave, which led to a substantial growth of the little village. The hundreds of workers who had become unemployed when the construction of the Fort of Steendorp was completed now moved to Lot to work in Scheppers’ Société anonyme de Loth pour la Filature et la Fabricaton de Tissus de Laines Peignées. Scheppers built his textile factory right in the middle of the railway, the river Zenne and the canal Brussels-Charleroi. This prime location allowed him to make abundant use of the natural resources in the manufacturing process (e.g. the water from the river for textile cleaning) and also facilitated the transportation of the produced goods. In the following years, the factory blossomed and Scheppers was named a member of the prestigious Orde van Leopold I for the leading role that he played in the industrialization of the country. In its final years, the Société anonyme de Loth changed its name to Cartonnex. This new name unfortunately did not bring salvation. Cartonnex underwent the same fate that many Belgian textile factories succumbed to in this period; unable to compete with cheap foreign labour markets, the factory was forced to close its doors. Recently, large parts of the factory have been demolished while other parts are being reconverted.
The original starch company HH was founded in the 19th century, producing wheat starch, wheat starch powder and starch adhesive. In the early 20th century (around World War II) the factory moved to this location in the North-western part of Germany as their former site did not allow for an expansion of the factory. In 1991, HH factory closed its doors.
Around 1850, this brand new textile factory was built next to the river in this quaint little village in the German rural hinterland. After a few years, it changed hands and was transformed into a paper factory. As the years passed by, the factory became the focal point of the village and an industrial catalyst for the region’s econmy. Complete production lines were built and the company gradually specialized in innovative types of paper – from crepe and textile woven paper to aluminium foil. Today, the two full-blown steam engines of this once pounding heart of Germany’s paper industry whistle no more – the factory is torn down.
This Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk (RAW), a large workshop where locomotives were repaired and serviced, dates back to the 1890s. The impressive maintenance hall with no less than 45 tracks makes it one of Germany’s largest RAW’s. The workshop even had its own small power station. Nowadays the offices, the repair- and maintenance halls and the power station are left to rot.
Industrial textile washing and painting plant. The company was founded in the 1830s. For a period of time, it was the biggest industrial textile washing group in Germany, which furthermore played a leading role in the field of chemical washing technology. Around the 1920s, the group became a VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb) – a company owned by the people.
Even though the roots of the steel manufacturing industry in this region date back to the second half of the nineteenth century, this particular company was only established around the mid twentieth century – in the 1960s. Similar to many other companies in Germany, the manufacturing plant at a certain point became a VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb), a people-owned-company which – in its heydays – employed more than 10,000 workers. The factory specialized in steel parts for heavy industrial purposes – from whole steel rolling installations to cranes. After the company was privatized, it was split into different branches, each with their own ‘speciality’. Although this particular plant has been abandoned, the company still thrives as it moved its production to more modern facilities.
Built in the 17th century, this castle used to house noble families until a big factory in the region bought it. The factory, that employed many Italians, housed its staff in the château and soon the castle became known as the ‘Château des Italiens’, meaning ‘Castle of the Italians’.
This machine room used to be the pounding heart of one of the largest roof tile factories in Belgium. Built in the northern part of the country during the 1920s, this factory was once considered very innovative for its époque. The large drying sheds for example were in part heated by the recuperated heat of the steam engines. Even though these drying sheds have been beautifully reconverted into offices, large parts of the factory have been demolished while others lay abandoned and collect dust – hoping that one day the necessary funds will be gathered to commence renovation.
Abandoned printing factory. Once upon a time a fine example of modern architecture, based on a perfectly symmetrical plan; nowadays a dump-site for assorted waste. Although the exterior of this eloquently designed factory still oozes its former grandeur, the inside is literally rotten: collapsed floors, uncountable hazardous barrels filled with chemicals and severe vandalism turned its interior into a wasteland.
The abandoned workshops of one of the most prestigious earthenware companies worldwide. Since 1841 the Belgian company Royal B has built an international reputation as creator of exquisite porcelain and fine china. Many of its designs excell in superior craftsmanship and have found their way into museums worldwide.