Circular South x Plein Publiek
During D.A.T.E. we got the chance to check out the new circular hub ‘Circular South’, where Circuit, Plein Publiek and young creative entrepreneurs join forces to create an interesting, impressive container village in the midst of Antwerp waistland.
We arrive at the construction site of Circular South and get a bit of a mysterious vibe from it. Not knowing what to expect we walk to the back of what seems a bunch of stacked containers, enter one of them, and suddenly we step into another world.
We’re standing in the middle of a square space of containers. On the outside they look like they’ve just been dropped of a ship, but on the inside they are painted classy white. Everyone takes a moment to absorb the place, which is a bit surreal.
The thing that for most people stands out is a conservatory, a conservatory that is probably very familiar for most Antwerpians, namely the one from Plein Publiek. Yeah, that’s right, you are reading correctly: Plein Publiek has found a new phenomenal location for their restaurant and nightlife venue at Circular South.
Circular South had prepared a presentation for us to explain their project and we were more than eager to listen.
Circular South is part of the Urban Innovative Action Program which is a European Union sponsored project. The goal of this program is: ‘Smart use and lesser use of energy, water, waste and materials.’. People can sign in to be a part of the Circular South program for 3 years and together experiment on how to live as sustainable as possible. They want to try to re-use as many raw materials as possible, for example by capturing all rainwater and induce warmth from a central powerplant. Besides that they built low-energy buildings, create car sharing facilities and use solar-power. They also invented the waste campaign where people have to live without creating waste for a hundred days, waste being things that can’t be demolished. Altogether a very promising project.
Circuit is a part of the ‘Kringwinkel Antwerpen’ and will occupy some of the containers at Circular South. In these containers they want to create a circular hub by keeping all materials in the recycle shop and offering social work opportunities. It’s all about the community: working together and using each other strengths.
Antwerp mourned after the popular hotspot Plein Publiek was shut down. Luckily they collaborated with Circular South and picked up where they left. This time trying to inspire people and make it cool to circulate. Their restaurant hosts a zero-waste kitchen with retired meat, bycatch fish and vegetables and herbs that are grown on site in one of the containers. Even the cocktails they serve are zero-waste, so that means drinking alcohol without any guilt. Get ready to enjoy yourself eating at their restaurant, sip from a drink while listening to live-music or dance like nobody is watching when the night falls.
w.r.yuma is named after the sunniest place on earth: Yuma in Arizona, USA. A pretty good name for a company that creates sunglasses. The sunglasses from w.r.yuma are created by recycled goods, such as plastic, fridges and car signs, with a 3D-printer. The cool thing is that when you are done with your design, you can take it back to w.r.yuma and they create a new one by melting the old one. The longer you wait, the higher your discount on your new design. Shout out to the man, because although his wife just have birth to his son, he still made the offer to come and tell us about his business. That’s what we call entrepreneurship.
w.r.yuma is only one of the start-ups that are stationed in the containers around Plein Publiek’s conservatory. Also the sustainable jeans from Honest and the sports collection from Pure by Luce are to be found and still plenty of containers are free to be used for entrepreneurs.
Text by Eline Graat
Pics by Niko Caignie