What started in the 1930s as a visionary modernist plan, which combined some of Belgium’s top architects to design a full-blown university in one of the country’s major cities, ended in an abandoned broken dream. This beautifully designed maze of buildings used to house the mathematical, chemical and mechanical quarters of the university and were constructed in some of the best materials known to men. Sadly enough, the university slowly moved its activities to a new campus outside of the city walls, leaving this modernist masterpiece at the disposal of graffiti sprayers and vandalizing youth. Nevertheless, the city council reacted rapidly and sealed every possible entry to the site. The campus was thus frozen in time and today still boasts several mesmerizing places, such as the wind tunnel for aerodynamic testing and several authentic auditoria that together represent silent witnesses of its glorious past. Fortunately, the future looks bright for the university, as a reconversion plan to turn the buildings into offices in a ‘park for economical activities’, has been developed.
Training complex built by RAG (the German coal mining company). The complex consists of a labyrinth of tunnels above the ground, simulating the working conditions in a real coal mine. Future RAG coal miners were trained in the complex, which – hence the large amount of litter in the tunnels – has been abandoned for some time.