Student housing provider Upgrade Estate bought the building while it was still occupied by more than a hundred squatters, who were given time to find alternative accommodation before the renovation began. The building was completely stripped and transformed, but some elements were preserved such as a set of graffiti in the stairwell that were preserved during the works, explains Nele Van Damme, co-managing director of Upgrade Estate.
King Upkot favors quality, combined with sustainability and recycling. For example, 11,000 crown caps adorn the mosaic floor and a throne was made for the “King” from old electronic devices. There is also a “zero waste” program and King Upkot is a gas-free building. The use of heat pumps saves 68 tonnes of CO2.
The social cohesion between the students has been the subject of intensive work. “Here we have a coach who ensures that many initiatives take place, but who also offers a listening ear,” explains Nele Van Damme. Students have plenty of time to socialize in the interior garden, the games room, the study café or the fitness room.