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Alsberge-Van Oost bleaching plant

Alsberge-Van Oost bleaching plant

Textile bleaching plant in Ghent

The Alsberge-Van Oost bleaching plant was founded in 1879. A century later, it collapsed and was left vacant for years.

Alsberge-Van Oost became a jungle in the middle of the city: birches squeezed between the old workshops, weeds were knee-high, and bushes blocked access to the ruins.

Early 20th century, the city of Ghent proposed plans to replace the abandoned factory buildings with a new district.

Protected buildings

Only protected and valuable buildings, such as the boiler house and the engine room, were retained.

Steam engine

The engine room houses the steam engine, or what remains: over the years, copper thieves have dismantled significant parts of the engine. However, it is a unique example, one that was built by the Ghent machine builder Vanden Kerckhove in 1913. Although the engine room's roof has been renovated, the building (and the steam engine) are still awaiting restoration.


The central laboratory, richly decorated with a colonnade, the offices, the gatehouse, and the refectory stretched along the Drongensesteenweg. They were demolished one by one.

Restored buildings

The demolition, remediation, renovation and new construction were completed in 2015. In addition to the engine room and boiler house, the brick buildings of the folding department and fabric bleaching plant were also restored.

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