The UCO project involves the renovation of the UCO factory hall (1948), which currently houses the training and employment centre of the OCMW (public social welfare office) of the city of Ghent. In 2018, the city published a public tender to renovate the existing offices and workshops and expand them with classrooms, kitchens, and workspaces. The warehouses, logistics zones, and offices had to move to a new building on top of the existing hall.
© Render by B-architecten
The renovation project includes the preservation of a large part of the factory building. Since the industrial character is considered important, the aim is to preserve as much of the building as possible. For example, it is being investigated how the joinery can be preserved and how the concrete structure of the hall (with spans of up to 21 metres) can be sustained. In terms of technical installations, the engineers are also examining in detail how the current installation can meet current standards.
The maximum application of flexible lightweight walls may become a circular key aspect in this pilot project. These walls are modular, demountable, and lightweight, allowing them to be assembled and disassembled quickly and to support the changing functions in the building. In addition, the design strives for a sustainable use of materials and a minimisation of cutting losses.
More information on the UCO project
UCO as pilot project for Circular Flanders