Université Val-Benoît

Built: 1937

Abandoned: 2006

Redeveloped: 2018

Visited: 2006 + 2014 + 2017

Liège, Belgium

This is the old Liège University. I visited several buildings on the site. The ‘Chimie et Métallurgie’ department, the ‘Centrale Thermo-electrique’ and ‘Institut de Mécanique’. The early history of this site brings us to 1290 when the abbey ‘Val Benoit’ was built on these grounds. The monastery complex was sold and became a holiday castle during the 18th and 19th centuries. The University of Liège purchased the site in 1924. Several of the old abbey buildings were demolished and others were destroyed by bombing during the Second World War. Some were rebuilt to their original specifications in 1952.

1937

The power plant ‘Centrale Thermo-electrique’ was built in 1937. The ‘Institut de Mécanique’ was completed just before the Second World War and stands out for its modernist architecture. The Chemistry-Metallurgy Institute, the largest building, was designed by Albert Puters. It is remarkable for its minimalist architecture and modern practicality. The last students, the structural engineers, left the site to move to a new university at the end of 2006. The goal is to preserve the great architectural past of the site and add value thanks to the renovation project which it began in 2007 with the City and University. Most of the older university buildings will be renovated and their remarkable modernist architecture will be preserved.

Photos of Université Val-Benoît

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