Lacking the dome with which it was once crowned, the former shot tower still proudly dominates the Fabriques quarter, bordering the canal. 55 m high, it was built in 1898, a useful addition to a foundry which had existed on the site since 1832, and was acquired by the Pelgrims and Bombeeck company from 1873. Its shape is due to the placing of rings of bricks of decreasing size on top each other so that the 4.7 m at the base narrows to 3.1 m at the top! In the 1930s, the firm merged with Fabriques d’Overpelt-Lommel et Corphalie to become Métallurgie Hoboken-Overpelt. Closed since 1961-1962, the site has been partially occupied by Arts et Métiers and the Institut Bischoffsheim since 1975. Listed in 1984, the tower was used to manufacture shot pellets using a method developed in the UK in 1750. The metal was liquefied at the top of the tower in a cauldron with holes through which droplets would escape. As the droplets fell, they would cool by more than 300 degrees, before ultimately landing in a tank of sulphite. They were then machined, calibrated and coated in graphite before being sold. The site is due to be renovated shortly and will host educational facilities as well as a gym and multipurpose spaces for the local population. (Listed 27/07/1984) 

Fabriekstraat 54 rue des Fabriques – 1000 Brussel/Bruxelles 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: visitbrussels.be

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