Labo Leegstand

From brownfield to living lab

Labo Leegstand - VUB Architectural Engineering

Labo Leegstand has the ambition to conduct research and build expertise in modular construction. Taking advantage of the vacant experimental space in the Potterij, i.e. a strategically located brownfield in Mechelen, a modular construction package is being developed for the temporary completion of this and other vacant buildings.

VUB Architectural Engineering acts as a research consultant in this Open Call project supported by Circular Flanders. Check all Open Call projects on our news feed, or leave us a note and join us.


Bringing vacant buildings back into circulation brings ecological, economic and social added value. However, this sustainable approach to space (re)use does not appear to be consistent with sustainable material (re)use: building systems are not designed for temporary use. After defining the necessary interventions in function of flexible temporary use, an inventory is made of potential building systems that are already on the market or can be elaborated further in a co-creative design and construction process. This is the starting porint for designing a modular building package tailored to the Potterij and test in place.

The findings of this research trajectory are bundled in the preparation of an implementation file as a reason for the actual implementation in the Potterij. By exposing the current tendencies, possibilities and limitations of temporary use of vacant properties in general on the basis of various practical cases, and then linking them back to the Potterij, we have the ambition to implement a scalable project as possible. to work.