Conversion of an industrial building, a former locomotive repair facility into an open multifunctional space. The job was allocated through an open architecture competition.
Context. The new park ‘Spoor Noord’ was designed by Italian architects Secchi & Vigano. The old locomotive repair facility SPTM (Stelplaats Tractie Machines; Depot Traction Machines) was one of the remnants of the old NMBS terrain that had not yet been given a new function.
Design. Stramiens’ design resolutely chose to maintain the existing 19th-centry facility; its extraordinary cast iron structure was completely restored.
The walls at both shorter ends are completely opened up, immediately connecting the inside space with the rest of the park. Small perforations were also made in the two side walls, reinforcing the contact with the park and increasing the flexibility of the space. The structural changes were deliberately kept simple, in order not to be conspicuous.
10 mobile units form a new (and contemporary) element. These metal wagons placed on rails provide a flexible system to close off the space or divide it into different zones. The mobile units spontaneously refer to the railroad history of the space and its surroundings.
Flexible. The open and flexible concept of this multifunctional space allow it to be used for various functions: from temporary slaughter facility for the Feast of the Sacrifice to lively bar during the warm summer months. Here, on this sheltered square which benefits from maximum daylight, various activities take place.