Mol - The Belgian Nuclear Research Center (SCK•CEN) and the Flemish Research Centre VITO will thoroughly renovate the residential area from the 1950s in Mol to revitalise the area at the Boeretang. The renovation works will be carried out early 2019 by construction company Cordeel, which was awarded the contract by public procedure. The parties signed the cooperation agreement on Tuesday 3rd July.

In the late 1950s, the residential area was built at the Boeretang in Mol – a village of modernist houses – to accommodate employees of the Belgian Nuclear Research Center. With the unbundling of SCK•CEN and VITO, the houses got divided and year after year the infrastructure was maintained in-house. After more than sixty years, a thorough renovation of the whole area is taking place. “We have decided to call on an external partner with a clear task: develop a unique residential project with respect for the existing architecture and the green environment”, says Eric van Walle, Director General of SCK•CEN.

More than 1 500 highly qualified experts work at both companies on a daily basis, often with an international background. “We find it very important to offer our international experts an optimal experience during their employment at our institutions. A nearby accommodation in a beautiful environment and with all modern comfort is part of this”, says Dirk Fransaer, Managing Director of VITO.

SCK•CEN and VITO looked for a private partner under public procurement and ended up with Cordeel, an experienced family construction company with over 1 800 employees and branches in Temse and Hoeselt, to name a few. Paul Ivens, Director at Cordeel is very pleased: “A project like this does not occur twice in Belgium. In total, 323 accommodation units will get a thorough freshening up. It concerns the so-called dormitories or student rooms, studios, apartments, terraced houses and villas. For this residential area, we will also build a new heating network and be responsible for the maintenance in the next 25 years.”

Cordeel will execute the renovation in various phases for a total budget of 50 million euros. The first implementation phase will start early 2019. After the renovation of this first phase – which is planned for 2021 – the houses will be offered for rent or offered for sale, and this in different phases.

A unique architecture

Modernism was the main architectural movement in the late 1950s in Belgium. Architecture functioned as an expression of development in science and technology and of the new way of life after the war. The unity in the materials used and the simple proportions of the spaces and volumes of the buildings brought unity and sobriety. In addition, architect Jacques Wybauw integrated the whole in the wooded area. Jacques Wybauw received several entries in the Van de Ven competition, for the cafeteria and the family apartments, and architectural magazines of that time repeatedly discussed the architecture of the Center. Also the buildings of Eurochemic, Euratom in Geel and the European School were designed by him.

The residential area of SCK•CEN consists of

caretaker’s house (in studios)
garage facilities

The residential area of VITO consists of

duplex apartments (young families)
apartments (family)

SCK•CEN : Maud Vanderthommen, Communications Manager, +32 (0) 473 58 61 04

VITO : Johan Verbeeck, Head of Procurement and Finance, +32 14 33 55 06 | +32 495 28 33 54 -

CORDEEL: Kristien OLAERTS, Commercial Director, +32 89 51 07 10, M.: +32 486 64 29 53 -

About SCK•CEN :
SCK•CEN is one of the largest research institutions in Belgium. Every day, more than 750 employees dedicate themselves to developing peaceful applications of radioactivity. Our developments have already resulted in a long list of innovative and forward-looking applications for the medical world, industry and the energy sector.

About VITO:
Flemish research centre VITO is an independent research organisation in the area of cleantech and sustainable development. Its goal is to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. VITO was founded in 1991.

About Cordeel:
The family business Cordeel arose when the 19-year-old Ghislain Cordeel founded it in 1934 as a joinery. From sole proprietorship, the company quickly grew to a group of construction companies. For over 80 years, Cordeel has been specialising in industrial construction, renovation, civil construction, residential and commercial real estate.