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Vast pop-up cultural space to open next to Midi station
A disused mail sorting office next to Brussels' Midi station is to be transformed into a vast "socio-cultural meeting place" for artists and non-profit associations.
The Tri Postal building on Avenue Fonsny has been empty since Bpost sold it to the SNCB in 1998. It is due to be completely renovated and become the Belgian rail operator's new headquarters from 2023.
The SNCB and the municipality of Saint-Gilles put out a call for projects to occupy the building until then. The winner among the six candidates was non-profit association Communa, which specialises in temporary takeovers of vacant buildings.
It will occupy the ground floor - covering a surface area of 1,340m² - which will include a conference room, art and music studios and exhibition space.
Doucheflux, a charity supporting Brussels' homeless, will organise get-togethers including film nights for the city's most disadvantaged people. Cyclo will organise bike repair workshops and Singa BlaBla will set up weekly meetings between Brussels residents and refugees.
"The plan offers so much diversity", said Saint-Gilles mayor Charles Picqué. "Local residents, train commuters, everyone will enjoy it."