When THE FACULTY was still a school

When THE FACULTY was still a school

The Veterinary School’s history goes back to 1892, when Minister of Agriculture Debruyn decided to build the school in Cureghem. At that moment, the school had already travelled extensively through Brussels. Firstly, it had found refuge in an old riding school (at the location where currently the Palais des Beaux Arts is situated) and subsequently in an old production hall. But on both locations, the implantation in the urban context was cause to a lot of nuisance. The construction of a completely new dedicated site had to remedy this problem.

The construction of the Veterinary School was entrusted to architect Seroen. While the facades of the individual buildings were erected in the Flemish Neo-Renaissance style, the constructions underground are at least an equally great masterpiece. Because of the swampy subsoil and the nearby Senne, no less than 100 000 cubic meters of soil had to be brought in for the construction of the sites, and as a buffer against the sometimes high water levels, each building was equipped with a network of cellars.

Ultimately, the entire site comprises an area of no less than 3,5 hectares with 19 buildings such as stables, a veterinary clinic, laboratories, classrooms and a central boiler room – still recognizable by the brick tower that is visible from a distance. The main building, now home to THE FACULTY, originally housed the administrative services, the academic room, and the library.

The veterinary school continued to function independently until 1969, when the school was eventually incorporated into the University of Liège. However, the site of the veterinary school remained in use. In 1990, the veterinary school moved permanently, and the school moved to the Sart-Tilman campus in Liège.

In the same year, the site was also classified by the Committee of Monuments and Sites, but unfortunately that did not prevent the buildings from being abandoned and falling into disuse in the following years. In 1999, the main building was bought by the municipality of Anderlecht and from 2004 the other buildings on the site were converted as homes or offices. It will take until 2017 before the renovation of the main building starts.