Exploring this enormous former campus site val benoit in Liege that’s more than 9 hectares big was an extraordinary experience, it was like taking a step back in history by wander around in this lost place. This entire university complex is abandoned with countless classrooms, auditoriums, hallways and science labs that all been neglected for a decade . Every room was a surprise to walk in, each moment I was astonished with what was left behind. The lab supplies where still on the cupboard in the perfect preserved laboratory, books where left behind in the auditorium, offices full with files, …
It took me two visits to see everything on this huge site. The different fields of study were based in 4 buildings, an institute of mineral science, the civil engineering institute, an institute chemistry and metallurgy, an institute for mechanics and at last the thermodynamics laboratory linked to there own power plant. This small power plant could generate its own energy for the entire property. This everting is located at the gateway to the city of Liege next to the river Maas. If your read further-on I’ll tell you the exact location.
a little bit about the history
The site got his name “Val Benoit” from the former Cistercian Abbey that was situated on this location, this history dates back to 1220. By the time of 1924 the university of Luik bought the grounds and several buildings of the old abbey were demolished before they started the building project of the new school complex. The university campus “Van Benoit” was built between 1930 and 1937 this was part of the big university of Liege. On this school the future engineers, scientists and architects were educated until 2006. Then the last students walked out of these university buildings and the last institute was transferred to the Sart-Tillman campus.
The architecture of this site is really remarkable, constructed in the Modernist architecture from the thirties.The civil engineering institute was a good example of this and stands out on the site, beautiful designed by architect Joseph Moutschen. Construction in the typical material for this kind of architecture: concrete, steel and glass what made it possible the have the big open spaces and lots of light.
In 2014 began the renovation works and the goal was to preserve the great architecture. These old neglected university buildings that are constructed by the columns/beams bearing principles are perfect to renovate and make modern open spaces of it. In several stages the buildings will be renovated, and the project will accommodate businesses, residences, meeting rooms, restaurants, public services and lots more.
Where can you find this enormous university site of Val Benoit
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