The Gebléishal

As part of our agreement with the national Ministry of Culture, our organisation has been tasked with developing a creative concept for the re-use of the Gebléishal, the former blower hall, an essential part of the old steelworks in Esch-Belval.

A working group called the Concept Gebléishal was formed at the beginning of 2020 to develop concrete proposals for a sustainable, creative and functional re-use of the blower hall, while respecting its historical and heritage importance.

Blowers’ hall in Esch-Belval ©Tobias Mandt

Two concepts for an innovative and dynamic use of the blower hall have been developed by this internal working group since 2020:

  • The Wind of Change – first concept, developed in July 2020
  • Science in the City – second concept, developed in February 2021.

After the general endorsement of the second concept, which advocates a multifunctional use with educational institutions and citizen research as the main activities, several interviews with potential partners in 2021 led to fruitful discussions. Regular exchanges on this project also take place with the Fonds Belval, the developer of the Belval site.

Field trip

It seemed appropriate to draw inspiration from good practices and to visit creative re-uses of old buildings in Europe for the blower hall in Belval and other key locations in Luxembourg. From 1 to 3 April 2022, IK-CNCI went on a field trip to the Netherlands, a pioneer country in original urban planning. This trip was organised within the framework of the MinettREMIX project for the European Capital of Culture Esch2022 and under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Mobility and Public Works. The association invited various people and institutions to participate, including journalists and employees of the Fonds Belval, the Administration des bâtiments publics et du Fonds du logement.

We visited four flagship objects to open our minds and move the debate forward: the RDM in Rotterdam, the NSDM in Amsterdam, the Werkspoorkwartier in Utrecht and the LocHal in Tilburg.


HallzWeNeed conferences

At the end of the field trip, the asbl renewed its HallzWeNeed confernces series, started by the founding members in 2018 and organised a conference on 13 May 2022 at the Halle des poches in Belval. For this 6ᵉ edition, we discussed the future regarding the iconic building on the Belval site, the Gebléishal. The objective of this conference was to imagine concrete actions in the short and long term to develop this place as an interdisciplinary institution with a citizen vocation. The discussions were based on the Science in the City concept. Numerous institutions active on the Belval site with which the association had exchanges in advance and which were mentioned in this concept participated in the conference.

The people and organisations involved in the re-use of this emblematic monument of industrial culture hope that before the end of the current legislature, a solution will emerge that gives the building both multiple and attractive functions as the nerve centre of the Belval site, without affecting the historical substance of the building too much.


Blowers’ hall in Esch-Belval © Industriekultur-CNCI asbl

Blowers’ hall in Esch-Belval © Industriekultur-CNCI asbl

Blowers’ hall in Esch-Belval © Industriekultur-CNCI asbl

Blowers’ hall in Esch-Belval © Industriekultur-CNCI asbl

Blowers’ hall in Esch-Belval © Industriekultur-CNCI asbl

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