Residents oppose to the demolition of the empty Belgacom building at Sablon. After a real estate (Immobel) presented a project which provides for the demolition of almost all buildings of the huge Belgacom complex, the inhabitants of the district launched a petition that has already collected 2,500 signatures.
The real estate project plans to build a complex of car parks, housing and shops. The new project would add two floors at the level of the Taschen store, while at Place de la Justice, it would add about 8 floors. The block between the streets Lebeau, Straw and Ruysbroek would then become a mixed project of 41,500 square meters.
The main complaint of the residents is that the new project would be too big and tall. In fact, a letter from the authors of the petition says that “the volume will create in the surrounding streets a permanent shadow, and a feeling of encasement quite oppressive. This project, which borders directly on the Grand Sablon, will deeply affect the character and the charm of this district, which is essential to attract customers “. The Belgacom building is located in rue Labeau, in front of several classified houses, including the Maison Frison d’Horta.
According to the authors of the petition, also the architecture of the building should be preserved as “a reflection of the quality of the architecture of its time”. Moreover, the political and ecological aspects of demolition should be considered. For this reason, the letter continues “we must not erase the past systematically as it has been done so many times. The ecological footprint of such work is no longer acceptable or defensible in 2019”.