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Rooftop swimming pool proposal considered for Anderlecht's Abattoir site

Illustration picture shows 'het slachthuis van Anderlecht' / 'les abattoirs d'Anderlecht' in Brussels. (BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ)
06:09 13/05/2021

The Brussels region is studying the practical feasibility of installing a swimming pool on the roof of Manufakture, the multifunctional food complex proposed for the Abattoir site, the oldest former cattle market in Anderlecht.

The proposal for the feasibility study, presented by secretary of state in charge of urbanism, Pascal Smet and minister-president of the Brussels-Capital region Rudi Vervoort, was given the green light by the capital's authorities this week.

The site is currently home to Foodmet, a food hall with more than 50 stalls selling fresh produce but will be transformed into a new 3,200m² complex featuring food studios, one outdoor and three indoor swimming pools and a 432-space car park building. Preparations for the construction of the Manufakture project are already underway.

The Brussels region sees the construction of this structure as a unique opportunity to plan for the installation of a public rooftop swimming pool, and it has already begun consultations to do so with the other public authorities concerned as well as those at the Abattoir site.

According to Vervoort, the study will assess if the Manufakture site is an appropriate location for this proposed pool.

Pascal Smet believes a swimming pool would fit perfectly in the urban redevelopment plan for this new district. According to Brussels minister Bernard Clerfayt, the feasibility study is an important first step in determining whether such a project is viable, both structurally and financially, in the Brussels region.

The Brussels government has commissioned the Brussels Urban Planning Corporation (SAU) to work on a concrete proposal to study how to install and operate the swimming pool on the roof. A list of criteria has already been set: the swimming pool must bring an architectural added value to the people of Brussels and contribute to the city's influence; the project must be accessible to Brussels residents, innovative, attractive to different types of swimmers, and accessible to schools.

To avoid slowing down the work and keeping all possibilities open, the Flemish Community Commission already decided last autumn to finance the extra costs associated with strengthening the foundations and structure.

Written by Nick Amies