EU Regiostars Awards

The Regiostars Awards, organized by the European Commission, aim at the highlighting of projects which are remarkable either by their value in terms of regional development, or by their originality and innovative character, and as a consequence can inspire other European regions. A jury ended up with a selection of 23 finalists amongst the most remarkable projects realized with the support of the European Cohesion Fund.

The president of the independent RegioStars Awards jury was MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij. The had to choose from no less than 104 projects which all had to carry for key-elements in them: innovation, impact, sustainability and partnership. FOODMET and the URBAN FARM are amongst the 23 finalists. The winners will be announced on 11 October.

Read more about our candidacy here.


"FOODMET", EEN FOOD HALL full of taste

In 2007, Abattoir S.A. made a study of the feasibility of a new food hall. In 2013, the construction works were started and the new hall  named FOODMET, a Food Hall full of taste, opened its doors for the public on 29 May 2015. The site offers shelter for 45 shops, amongst which 17 butcher’s, but also shops for fruit, vegetables, bread, cheese, delicatessen, olives, fish … The aim is to relocate the existing ambulant traders by offering them the opportunity to move into a firm construction. The project was made possible thanks to the 2007-2013 ERDF subsidies programme (European Regional Development Fund.

The open air market continues its activities, but it has been extended with a fixed under roof shopping area with all the required facilities such as freezers, sanitary installations, telecom, etc.

The FOODMET is open on market days, i.e. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 07.00 till 14.00 hours. It is really worth paying a visit, in a multicultural setting, in the middle of the biggest market of Belgium, in the heart of Brussels. 

With a total surface of 9.200 sqm, the FOODMET stands for an investment of 18 million euro and the creation of 150 jobs. Europe signed for 7.5 million ERDF subsidies. More than 6 million euro of all subsidies together will be spent in favour of the tenants of the FOODMET shops. Over a period of 20 years, they benefit from a rent rebate until the total amount of subsidies will have been transferred to them. 




From 28 May till 27 November 2016, the city of Venice will host the prestigious Architecture Biennale : "The 15th International Architecture Exhibition". Our FOODMET is one of the selected monuments for the expo.





By the end of 2016, the FOODMET will become even more attractive: an Urban Farm will be installed on the roof with a surface of no less than 4.000m². This is a true European première in terms of city farming.

In 2010, the former Regional Government came up with the “Urban Farm” idea, a pilot project for Brussels. Abattoir presented itself as an obvious candidate; the FOODMET building was the perfect location for such an experiment. With a roof surface of 4.000m², additional space for a new restaurant including a roof terrace and technical equipment such as a roof-servicing goods elevator, Abattoir presented itself as a strong candidate. An additional EFRO-subsidy of 1.435.674 euro was therefore granted to Abattoir. ORG, the project’s architects, adapted the FOODMET’s initial plans for more stability of the building given the roof’s additional weight to be supported. 

BIGH will be the tenant of the roof space offered by Abattoir S.A., owner of the building and will operate the Farm System including productive gardens. The economic model is based on aquaponic technology, i.e. fish farming (AQUAculture) in combination with hydroculture (growing of plants in water), where fruit, vegetables and microgreens (hydroPONIC) are being produced along with the more traditional vegetables in the gardens.  But the Urban Farm also holds a socio-economic dimension. Part of the open air roof garden is kept by "Atelier Groot Eiland" from Molenbeek. A couple of hours per day, they give work to a couple of people -under supervision- before offering them the opportunity to return to the classical labour market.

An exclusive restaurant and brand new guest garden terrace at roof level are also included.

Within the framework of Abattoir’s global Masterplan, more attention will be paid to urban farming over the next coming years. Next to its slaughterhouse and the organization of markets and events, Abattoir wants to play an important role in the Region when sustainable food is concerned. 

Abattoir has started-up negotiations with candidate-managers for the roof restaurant (see adjacent drawing). This is a real challenge for people wanting to settle in Brussels and benefit from the added value and possibilities offered by the Urban Farm. Products any fresher than this are impossible to find. Moreover, the projects will benefit from a lot of international attention. 

BIGH has chosen the exceptional Abattoir Site in Anderlecht for its unique location inside the European capital and on top of that in a canal zone that is in full expansion. BIGH have plans for other Urban Farms in Brussels and abroad in the near future. Abattoir is an ideal starting-location for short circuit selling during the weekly markets (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays) with more than 100,000 visitors and a great number of restaurants and caterers, which make Brussels such a nice place to stay.

The project features 1800 m² in greenhouse space and the equivalent in productive gardens, offering positive impact, create value for the district and FOODMET building performance by:

  • Production of 30 MT of fresh fish with 75 MT of seasonal produce
  • Heat recovery from the cooling spaces of the market
  • Rain water harvest
  • Thermal protection of the building
  • Biodiversity diffusion
  • Job creation in both farming and transformation and restauration.
  • Support of social and inclusiveness training projects
  • Social diversity support
  • Logistics free mobility
  • New commercial use of existing rooftop
  • Optimal use of existing infrastructure 365 days/year
  • Real estate valorisation by improved performance and attractiveness
  • Marketing force for Foodmet and Abattoir mixed development plan
  • Lighthouse for innovation and applied circular economy
  • Support to create more urban biodiversity
  • Production without pesticides and antibiotics

Building Integrated Greenhouses CVBA

Rue Barastraat 175 – 1070 Anderlecht
Tel : +32 (0)2 560 21 36