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Art and real estate meet in Lot

Published on  24/02/2020

For its Zen Factory new-build project in Lot, BPI Real Estate has once again called upon the services of an artist to give the site – and by extension the village of Lot – an extra dash of character. The impressively tall chimney of the former wool factory will thus continue to serve as a landmark into the future, particularly as the top of the chimney now boasts a work by artist/sculptor Philip Aguirre y Otegui.

This is not the first time the real-estate developer has used art to add value to the environment.  The developer previously worked with artist Denis Meyers, whose ‘Remember’ project involved the creation of a 25,000 m2 graphic mural at Solvay’s old headquarters in Ixelles, as part of the ‘Ernest the Park’ renovation work.

Artist/sculptor Philip Aguirre y Otegui was chosen for the new-build project in Lot.

Frederik Lesire of BPI Real Estate: “It clicked with Philip right from our first meeting. He is a visionary with unbridled creativity, but he is also a very nice man. It didn’t take us long to decide that he was the right person to create added value for this neighbourhood.”

Philip Aguirre: “Working in a public space, and the opportunity to move people by adding something to that space - for example a landscape or a square - is something I have always been interested in. As soon as I saw the historic chimney, I knew this would be a fascinating assignment.”

The installation of the art work is the icing on the cake for this construction project, which comprises a total of 87 apartments, 15 of which are still for sale. The project, characterised as it by its emphasis on living in a park landscape, and the mix of existing and renovated buildings, was already one of a kind in the region. This unique character is enhanced by the historic chimney and art work, which together rise to a height of over 40 metres. The artist worked with a team of technicians and craftsmen to ensure a safe, weather-resistant construction so that the chimney will remain a landmark for Lot and the surrounding area into the future.

Frederik Lesire of BPI Real Estate: “The new-build project is a positive development that will raise the whole environment to a higher level. Together with our architects and landscape designers, we have transformed this historic site from an industrial environment into one in which people can live comfortably and happily. Philip Aguirre's magnificent art work fits in with this beautifully. The site has been given a new purpose and the new landmark is its crowning glory.”

Zen Factory

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About Zen Factory

It’s difficult to imagine that, in 1863, the wool factory gave rise to a small wave of migration. At that time, the factory had 1700 workers toiling away on 500 modern looms for 13 hours a day. The wool came to the factory by train and barge, mainly from France, to be processed into fabrics.  Lot was a bustling town and the tower of the wool factory was a beacon in the landscape – until, that is, the Great Depression of 1931 put an end to the local textile industry. Now, the historic site has been given a stylish new lease of life in which carefree, family-friendly living in a green and fashionable setting is the norm. The historic factory chimney crowned by its art work is certain to become a landmark for the surrounding area.

About BPI Real Estate

BPI Real Estate is a high-end real-estate developer with branches in Belgium, Poland and Luxembourg. The company draws upon over 30 years of expertise and is mainly active in the development of housing, offices, commercial premises and service real estate.

BPI Real Estate addresses the energy-related, social, architectural and technological aspects of the design right from the outset, allowing it to develop innovative and environmentally friendly urban designs that result in a harmonious and extremely pleasant living environment. BPI Real Estate is part of the CFE Group, a Belgian industrial group founded in 1880 that is active in three different fields. The first, the Dredging, Environment, Offshore and Infra division, is supplied by DEME. The second, the Contracting division, takes in the construction, multitechnics and rail activities in Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland and Tunisia. The third, the Real Estate Development division, groups together the real-estate projects developed by BPI Real Estate in Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland. The CFE group currently employs more than 7,000 people and has a presence on all continents. CFE is listed on Euronext Brussels and 60.85% of its shares are held by Ackermans & van Haaren.

About Philip Aguirre y Otegu

Philip Aguirre (born 1961 in Schoten) studied sculpture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and lives and works in Borgerhout. He has been exhibiting at home and abroad since 1985 and has held solo shows including those at the Middelheim Museum, Antwerp; Mu.ZEE, Oostend; Herman Teirlinck House, Beersel; Casa Unesco, Quito,  Ecuador; and several galleries. In addition, Aguirre has participated in several group exhibitions and biennials, including: Dakar Biennial, Senegal; the Irish Biennial, Limerick; Beaufort Trienale, Ostend; Charlottenburg, Copenhagen, Denmark; SMAK Ghent; MHKA Antwerp; Projects+, Saint Louis, USA; and SUD, Douala, Cameroon. He has also exhibited many of his works in public spaces, such as the Kazerne Dossin Memorial, Mechelen; and “Théâtre Source”, Douala, Cameroon.

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Michele Stynen • Marketing & Communication Officer
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