The Impact Factory in the centre of Mechelen is a breeding ground for circular initiatives and entrepreneurship. The buildings already house a shared library for home and garden tools, laptops and seeds, an organization that grows mushrooms on coffee grounds, a circular fashion studio, and the fashion department of Ursulinen Mechelen. The upcoming renovation enlarges the ambition for this space up to between 150 and 200 workplaces in training, co-working, production and laboratory areas. The entrepreneurs will receive on-site support from innovation agency Switchrs. The ambition is to give the city’s residents the opportunity to co-invest in this local, sustainable project as cooperative members. The Stadsmakersfonds (a citizen cooperative fund) and the city administration, joint owners of the site, opened a call for the renovation project, with a requirement for the new building to be circular in its materials and methods of construction. Out of four designs, the proposal by WIT architects was eventually chosen.
WIT architecten, Stadsmakersfonds, City of Mechelen
learning, circularity, making industry