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Pritzer Fac - May 2016

Urban Relics

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Getting in to this building was really a breeze. Admittedly, there was a gate there, but it seemed to me it had more of a symbolic purpose than a practical one. Nevertheless the lack of adrenaline was abundantly made up for by the sheer beauty of the place. The craftsmanship that went into all of the detail, from the wrought iron railings and the beautiful Italian marble to the refined woodwork in the library, was truly magnificent!

Okay, so the photos aren't all that... This was over three years ago, back when I was just starting out with photography and I was still trying to figure out how to work my camera... I like to think I've gotten a little better since then, although I'm still learning new stuff every day. So be kind! ;)

A bit of background:
Electrotechnics was a subject matter that was not taught a lot in the 19th century educational system. In 1881 the founder of this college attended the International Exposition of Electricity (Paris 1881) and was instantly convinced of the importance of starting separate divisions on the subject at the Belgian universities. Barely two years later the department of electrotechnics was established under the auspices of what was at the time the 'school for mining industry' at the local university. Originally the department was located in the auditorium of the central building. However due to the growing success of the department there was an acute need to find another solution for the housing problem. A solution was found when the Belgian government made these buildings, formerly part of a public school, available to the new department. Thanks to a substantial donation by the founder of the college, who made fortune as patentee of an alloying process, mainly used in the telephone industry, the faculty was able to extend and to be equiped to accommodate 300 students.

The building closest to the street, a former hotel, was bought by the same maecenas and donated to the faculty’s allumni association of graduate students. This building was used to accommodate a library and reading hall. Due to the aging of the buildings the faculty started moving away to a new location at the end of the 1970’s. The buildings on this site were protected as heritage in the middle of the 1990’s; the facades and the roofs however were only protected as of 2011.

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AndyK!

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Oh hell yes! Fantastic report, the photos are great. Looks like you visited while this place was in its prime.
 
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Urban Relics

Urban Relics

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Thanks Andy! :) I guess I did... Apart from some graffiti in one of the stairwells, there was virtually no vandalism.
 
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