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Kinderdorp Molenberg is a building complex in Lanaken, surrounded by a forest. The first plans were made by Koninklijke Openluchtwerken Limburg in 1948, shortly after the second world war. The project was for a center for ‘weakened children’ with a strong emphasis on health.

Before being abandoned in the early 2000’s, the complex provided a welcoming home for hundreds of children. Plans for demolition after more than 10 years of neglect generated much local protest. Yet, despite the building being listed as protected heritage, the city of Lanaken issued a demolition permit in 2019. One of the reasons mayor Marino Keulen invoked was the ‘risk’ for the building to be transformed into a refugee shelter. All buildings will be removed and the land will remain as part of the neighboring natural reserve.

The main focus of our salvage operation concerns the floors. Other materials such as the bricks and shingles will be salvaged by other companies. On the ground level, in the kitchen and dining area, the floors consist of small size ceramic tiles that were only partially demountable. Throughout the rest of the building larger cement tiles were used, laid in multicolored patterns.

These cement tiles were produced by Impermo in Sint Truiden, using white cement and marble powders to obtain the spectacular colour effects. During the war, Impermo switched to the production of marmelade because demand for tiles was very low. The 1950s were the start of the golden years of the company. In the 1990s the production of tiles in Belgium stopped and Impermo became the exclusive importer and trader of tiles.

Update May 17th 2019: About 800m2 of tiles were salvaged and are currently being processed. We do not know precisely yet what quantity we have of each colour. For orders of more than 50 sqm, please contact us.

For more information on the building, see Monumenten & Landschappen.

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Other notable buildings: