Labo Leegstand aims to create a temporary experimenting space at Potterij, a strategically located contaminated plot in the city centre of Mechelen. It will be used for research and to build expertise on modular construction. A modular construction pack will be developed to temporarily convert the vacant buildings.
The re-use of vacant buildings offers environmental, economic, financial and social added value. However, experience has shown that a sustainable approach to the (re-)use of spaces does not always equal sustainable (re-)use of materials because construction systems have not been developed for temporary projects.
Once the necessary interventions have been identified for the temporary, flexible use of the space, an inventory will be drawn up of potential construction systems that are already available on the market and/or a co-creation design and construction process will be elaborated. Subsequently, a custom modular construction package will be developed for Potterij. The findings of this research project will be gathered in a report for the actual implementation of the project at Potterij. The current trends, possibilities and limitations of the temporary use of vacant buildings in general will be identified through various practical case studies, which will subsequently be linked to Potterij. The results of this study will help develop a scalable project.
The Potterij case study - which focuses on experimenting, learning and showcasing the possibilities - aims to show that the lifecycle of buildings and construction materials could use radical innovation. We need to step away from the linear (disposable) approach and see vacant properties as a playing field for circular economy experiments.
This project is an initiative by Miss Miyagi & BUUR, as part of a wider partnership with other parties, including the City of Mechelen, Thomas More, VITO (the Flemish Institute for Technological Research), VUB, DMOA and OVAM (the Public Waste Agency of Flanders).