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.
In 1915 a beautiful park was handed over to the university hospital by a noble family. The university hospital, together with the Catholic Sisters of Mercy, started a neuro-psychiatric clinic in the ‘English garden’- styled park in 1927. In 1997 the university left, leaving the buildings and park abandoned.