The city of Mechelen and the Stadsmakersfonds have appointed WIT Architecten to design Impact Factory, a new circular hub to emerge from the reconversion of the current ‘Potterij’ and an office building on Graaf van Egmontstraat. Impact Factory will provide space for offices, small-scale production, initiatives within the sharing economy, meetings and events, and aspires to become the base for the circular economy in and around Mechelen. The city of Mechelen and the Stadsmakersfonds want the Impact Factory to be realised following the principles of circular and ‘change-oriented’ construction. One of the project conditions was to involve an expert in this field. WIT Architecten chose Bob Geldermans, a professor at the University of Antwerp, whose work focuses on regenerative resource systems in relation to architecture. The design makes maximum use of the two vacant buildings, avoiding unnecessary building, and maximises recovery and reuse of materials and the use of natural materials. Moreover, Impact Factory integrates education and research activities, optimising the exchange of knowledge and skills in the transition from linear to circular built environments.
Impression of the winning design for Impact Factory (source: WIT Architects)
Circular renovation of the existing office building (source: Miss Miyagi)