The history of ‘Marien-Finaspan’ in Mechelen goes back to the end of the 19th century. The factory buildings were eventually abandoned in 2002 and are demolished at the present time.

Today already five generations of the Marien family have been active in the wood and building construction. Louis Marien, the founder of the company in 1890, was already ahead of the market when he expanded his original building business to saw-milling timber for his own needs.

Through the years Louis and his son were able to build 40 thousand greenhouses in the area of Hoeilaart, famous throughout all of Europe for its grapes. Additionally, each day he produced up to 15 thousand grape boxes for this company.


In the 1960s followed another development, the company started its own production of plywood and blockboard. In the following decade, the market progressed away from these products towards veneered chipboard. And more recently, production shifted to MDF, a speciality of the company under the current management.

Five generations later, the group is still managed by the Marien family. However the halls in Mechelen were abandoned when they moved out in 2007. I visited ‘Marien-Finaspan’ in its last year just before it was demolished.

Built 1890
Abandoned 2002
Demolished 2009
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