Iconic old factory gets repurposed with new living and working units

a2o is repurposing the former gunpowder factory on the Canal Zone in Vilvoorde with an ingenious design. The building will serve two functions: offices and communal spaces will be situated in the core, while residential units will encircle it.


The Kruitfabriek, once a prominent gunpowder factory on the Canal Zone in Vilvoorde, is part of the extensive site acquired by Matexi a decade ago. While the other industrial buildings were replaced by new residential blocks, one structure stood untouched: the iconic former gunpowder factory. This one temporarily housed a café and spaces for creative entrepreneurship. 


With extensive experience in transforming industrial heritage into new residential spaces, a2o was enlisted following a design competition to ingeniously repurpose the Kruitfabriek. a2o has already successfully redeveloped the old chocolate factory in Nerem.


The existing concrete structure of the gunpowder factory will be preserved, few new additions like terraces and communal spaces surrounding it will be added. In this project the emphasis is on reversibility, ensuring that all additional elements can be removed if necessary. The sturdy historical concrete structure serves as the foundation of the project.


The project accommodates different kind of flats, office spaces and communal areas. The aim is to ensure that current residents remain engaged with the site.


2021 - ...




Housing, Mixed used






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