OVAM Ecodesign PRO
Dismantling the interior of the former headquarters of Generale Bank, now BNP Paribas Fortis, and reusing some of the fittings in new projects has been one of the biggest tasks Rotor Deconstruction - a spin-off of Rotor - has ever undertaken. The building dates from 1971 and boasted beautiful interiors featuring work by Jules Wabbes, among others. It was recently completely demolished. Extensive preparation and research ahead of dismantling work commenced in early 2014 at the invitation of Docomomo Belgium and BNP Paribas Fortis. Prior to demolition, an inventory of ‘significant’ materials was drawn up and circulated to potential buyers: only items which could be sold prior to the demolition date were salvaged. Certain materials were ‘saved’ and stored for sale at a later date. The final dismantling work took place in early 2016. Rotor recovered false ceilings, floors, flamed-granite wall cladding, doors, light fixtures, furniture and a staircase made of tropical wood among other items. Each choice required careful consideration to avoid salvaging unsaleable items which would be costly to dismantle and store.
A total of 200 tonnes of items and materials were salvaged, including a ‘historic’ false ceiling. These items were then listed for sale on Rotor Deconstruction’s website, accompanied by historic information about each one and detailed assembly instructions. The salvaged ceiling was used for several purposes; plusofficearchitects, for example, incorporated it into the new auditorium of the Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe municipal library.
In contrast to recycling, reusing items/materials means retaining as much of their practical and cultural value as possible. Rotor Deconstruction embodies a sustainable economic model which allows other players to get involved and which can also create jobs.