Tours and Taxis, a former industrial site in Brussels, sat abandoned for nearly a half-century. Within the last few years, the city has started renovating the existing buildings.
If approved by Brussels, a new proposal could turn the entire area into luxury housing, restaurants, shops, office space, and greenhouses.
In late 2016, the design firm Vincent Callebaut Architecture sent the fantastical masterplan to the city government, and is waiting to hear if it will move forward, lead architect Vincent Callebaut tells Business Insider.
Check it out below.
Spanning over 1.4 million square feet, Callebaut's masterplan would redevelop the Tour and Taxis site, located northwest of the Brussels city center.
The Tour and Taxis buildings, which date back to the 19th century, were first used as horse pastures. They were owned by the Von Thurn und Tassis family, the founders of the Belgian postal system.
At the turn of the 20th century, however, the site was turned into a port, and the buildings became warehouses, a train station, and maritime station. At its height during the 1960s, over 3,000 people worked there. But by the '70s, Europe had lifted most trade barriers and manufacturers began seeing increased competition from road freight transport, which rendered most of Tour and Taxis' customs and transit facilities obsolete. The site was abandoned in the '80s.
The buildings now function mostly as tourist attractions. Here's what one of the warehouses, which also includes a few offices and shops, looks like today.
Made of solid wood and cross-laminated timber, the vertical forests would stretch over 300 feet tall and be partially powered by solar panels.
Next to the vertical forests, there would be three greenhouses that would grow vegetables and fruit.
A large marsh would also encourage biodiversity in the city, and provide a space for outdoor events.
Callebaut sees the masterplan as a way to propel Brussels into a more eco-friendly future. The proposal prioritises the use of recyclable materials, renewable energy sources, and green space.
The plants would also absorb 175 tons of CO2 per year, according to Callebaut. Pictured below are pods that would feature more offices.
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