You think Brussels is stodgy? Think again. Downtown, the city has turned over the public spaces of a major train station to Recyclart, an underground art collective sending subterranean ripples of cool throughout the metro area. Obviously, we had to see for ourselves. So we rounded up a few teammates and headed to the Bruxelles-Chapelle station (25, Rue des Ursulines).
During the day, Recyclart is a café and bar exhibiting local and international artists in a small gallery. As expected, we found it full of scruffy dudes enjoying lunch and having quiet conversations behind MacBooks. Just on the other side of the wall, commuters were passing in and out of the train station.
Not that impressive-until the sun went down. At night, when the train station closed, Recyclart rolled back several graffitied panels inside the station to reveal a venue with room for up to 450 people. The weekly parties and club events are hosted by DJs and attended by the young night owls of Brussels.
The immediate area just outside of the train station has also been converted into a public art gallery that's changing as new street art gets thrown up. Mix in skateboarders from the nearby skate park and a healthy dose of vegetarian hipsters, and Recyclart becomes an after-hours oasis.
Our favourite part? It's a place to explore your own interests and passions, mainly focused on art and DIY (do-it-yourself). In November, they're hosting workshops on how to re-use broken electronic devices for craft projects….just when you thought your Super Nintendo had no chance for a second life.
Check out the Incredible Hulk-like transformation from mild-mannered café to booming club for yourself. Get the scoop on all things Recyclart on their website or Facebook page and get ready to take the party underground.