Nestled in a residential area in the city of Hannut is this abandoned factory, once owned by Gemaplast SA. Gemaplast SA is a Canadian manufacturer that creates plastic industrial, commercial and food packaging. A local urbexer from the area took me to explore this gem. It was in a risky location right in the middle of the town, surrounded by residential housing.
Exploring the abandoned factory
The sound of fluttering pigeons and plastic sheets cracking in the wind filled this once busy packaging factory. Clock-in name tags still hang on the walls surrounded by moss and waterlogged wood. The door of a first aid cabinet sits open with medical supplies still inside, growing mold. The things that people choose to remove and leave behind never cease to amaze me.
What really confused me about this location was the assortment of unusual items. A wardrobe stood alone next to machinery used for shipping and masses of hay. After finding out that this abandoned factory was owned by a company that specialised in packing, it made a lot more sense.
Plastic masked the stairs in a daunting yet beautiful manner, gently drifting in the wind, just waiting to be climbed. The ceiling groaned while dripping with rainwater and the wind whistled through the broken windows. A tremendous amount of ambient light filled the Gemaplast factory. I am not entirely sure that it made it less scary to explore. As if under a spotlight we crawled past windows and stood with our backs against the walls, startled by the slightest sound.
As if left in a hurry, files and stamps sat on shelves. The files still organised, some under lock and key, awaiting their time of service. This forgotten factory, like many places in Belgium, has just been carelessly left to the elements. The door to the roof was ajar showing off the rooftops of Hannut city and the saw tooth roofing of the factory. Before electric light became common in the early 20th Century it was essential to have good natural light in factories. The sawtooth roof has glass panels that face away from the equator. While blocking heat and light from direct sunlight it also provided consistent ambient light throughout the building.
We did not see a soul while exploring this abandoned factory. No workers, no nosey neighbours and no other urban explorers. It looked like there may have been an idea to start some renovations. The urban explorer I was with assured me that nothing had changed since he was there two years ago.
A very special thanks to my Reddit family for helping uncover the use of this awesome factory! Some pretty cool detective skills right there.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to have ever trespassed on this property nor do I condone doing so.
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