Cultural centre 'De Factorij' and library - Zaventem


The cultural centre is constructed on the old ‘Suchard site’. 

These ‘wastelands’ adjoin the rear of the shops along Stationsstraat and the homes along Seliersstraat, as well as the railway.

The presence of the adjoining academy in its green surroundings with magnificent trees expands and nourishes the site, making it a green anchor point for the town centre.

The Suchard site is converted into the ‘Suchard Culture Site’. 

Not only to meet the regulations concerning a maximum height of 8 m but also for acoustic reasons, the choice was made to construct the theatre – with a capacity of 800 persons – partially underground according to the ‘box in box’ principle. To handle the acoustics requirements, Franki Construct built a clam shaped hall. 

The underground foyer provides natural daylight: the northern daylight that filters down via the open area along ‘the shell’ is ideal for art exhibitions, but also for the main entrance to the cultural centre, the library and the culture department that are located here.

The discreet location of the public library blends harmoniously into the surroundings: it ‘leans’ against the old remaining outer walls of the Suchard factory and at the same time allows space for this large, sloping architectural design.

The centrally located culture café allows the needed social interaction between culture and literature lovers or for an encounter with the casual passerby who is able to enjoy an attractive terrace.

The construction project is an excellent example of sustainable building:

  • Green roofs over the full surface area of the roof.
  • Heat recovery via 80-metre deep geothermal boreholes.
  • Green surrounding infrastructure.
  • White eco-bituminous roofing.
  • Rainwater infiltration basins. 

Since 1998 Franki Construct has been part of Willemen Groep, the largest family construction group in Belgium.


Project Details

Willem Lambertstraat 10, Zaventem, Vlaams Brabant, Belgium
Belfius Bank
End User 
Autonoom Gemeentebedrijf Zaventem
EBTCA Architecten
Engineering Office 
Surface area above ground 
8 700m²
Surface area subterranean 
6 500m²
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