The 87-ha area of the Forge de Clabecq has a twofold strategic nature: on a large scale, it is an incredible land resource for a mixed development of productive activities for the next economy; on a local scale, it represents a crucial connection between the historical centres of Tubize-Clabecq and the new neighbourhood of the former Forges, on the crossroad between water-sensitive and green-recreational corridors.
The vision for the site builds on a mixed development scenario for the next economy that bounds civic and productive activities: what if the area of the Forge de Calbecq would offer the space to accommodate competitive and complementary activities within the sphere of influence of Brussels? What if these activities would be related to the construction industry, where, at present, many SME are active? What if the site could offer the space and infrastructure to stock, store, sort, recycle, display and sell materials and products? What if that would be in a close relation to the education of low skilled labour, high-tech experimentation, workshop and atelier spaces? What if those productive spaces could be highly integrated with living spaces?
The proposal aims at developing a node that represents the missing link at the crossing between a N-S urban-productive axis and an E-W ecological-recreational one. Taking advantage of its position – between the Flemish and Walloon regions, just 20 km away from Brussels city centre, at the end of the corridor of the Senne valley, along the Canal Bruxelles-Charleroi and the railway line Clabequ-Braine le Chatéau, close to the E19 – the new comb-like productive and residential development is organised along two N-S mixed use rail and water platforms and a linear wetland (Sennette), which offer functional-recreational-ecological spaces. On the Northern side, the spatial complexity of the triangle between the railway, the new overpass and the canal, crossed by the E-W axis connecting Tubize and Clabecq, is the key intersection of numerous fluxes. For that reason, a flexible covered square, surrounded by living, productive, research and educational spaces, workshops and ateliers, can offer the open ground landmark for multiple civic activities, a new heart for Tubize and Clabecq.
The project received the Special Mention at Europan 14 – Productive Cities.
Fabio Vanin, Andrea Bortolotti, Andrea Aragone, Marta de Marchi, Alessandra Marcon
Europan 14 (special mention)