Artistic hub at Manchester 13-15/17-19
Located on Rue de Manchester in Molenbeek, a short distance from the Canal, the ‘Manchester 13-15’ and ‘Manchester 17-19’ sites are adjacent to the Brussels base of Charleroi Danse (Raffinerie-Plan K) and in the immediate vicinity of Cinémamaximillien. The two plots have a total area of 5,550 m2 (0.5 hectares) and eight buildings with an above-ground floor space of around 7,500 m2.
Owned by the Region since 2017 in the case of ‘Manchester 17-19’ and since 2018 in the case of ‘Manchester 13-15’, the buildings were previously used by various businesses, including the well-known Graeffe refinery.
At present, part of the premises is occupied by Recyclart, Vaartkapoen and Damaged Goods/Decoratelier, giving a foretaste of the site’s future use.
By 2025, the buildings will be redeployed as a new cultural, artistic and creative hub. The main objective is to foster the emergence in this district of a creative hotspot (with an arts centre, studios and businesses) which will attract numerous Brussels-based figures from the cultural and artistic sectors.
The project reflects the functional diversity promoted by the Brussels-Capital Region in its Canal Plan.
The role of the Urban Development Corporation (SAU)
The SAU is the delegated project manager for this project.
It has conducted a study that has defined a series of ‘invariant development principles’. Among other things, the warehouse on the ‘Manchester 13-15’ site must be maintained because of the diversity of activities it can accommodate; the L-shaped building at the rear of the ‘Manchester 17-19’ site must also be kept because of its architectural heritage value; and a number of buildings must be demolished, including those on the street front (‘Manchester 17-19’). The Region wishes to create a new link between the two sites and open up the courtyards to the surrounding area in order to give the future productive and cultural hub a visible presence.
It is running the procedure to appoint a multidisciplinary team to design the plans for the revitalisation/redevelopment as an artistic and creative centre of the buildings at 13-15 and 17-19 Rue de Manchester.