The Uplace Machelen project involves the reconversion of a former neglected industrial site. It will serve as a catalyst for further redevelopment of the entire region. Uplace is a unique ‘experience destination’ whose architecture creates a sense of place. That’s why it aims to be easily accessible by car, public transport and on foot from Machelen, and by bike from the neighbouring communes. While the plans take into account the limitations of the project area, they nevertheless make good use of them wherever possible to highlight the link that exists with the surrounding area.
The design is based on a human rather than an industrial scale. This is achieved through the construction of internal streets and a main square. The scales and spaces used will give people a feeling of connection when walking around or through the project area. This accessible, modern and multifunctional place, which includes a shopping area (experience stores), leisure activities, commercial and public facilities, will have dedicated spaces for each of these elements. The cultural functions will be designed in such a way that the individual buildings housing them will be linked to the project’s public areas. The office buildings will allow the project to open up to its immediate environment and exude an urban feel.
Uplace was designed by Benoy, a globally renowned firm of architects, and by the Belgian architectural firm Jaspers-Eyers. The architecture reflects the region’s rich industrial past with an important focus on local authenticity. It creates a feeling of being a ‘town in a town’ thanks to the interaction of neighbourhoods, squares, streets and open spaces, offering something for everyone. Eco-friendly building and green management are at the top of Uplace’s list of priorities. Because the world will either be green, or it will not be at all.