PAKT was founded by two brothers, Ismail and Yusuf Yaman, and Stefan Bostoen. In 2006, they fell in love with the derelict warehouses hidden between the centre of Antwerp and the old military hospital (nowadays “Groen Kwartier”). Before the start of the renovations, they decided to make the location available to various artists and musicians, resulting in a colourful and lively atmosphere.
Inspired by similar places in Berlin or New York, they created a unique ecosystem where work is combined with sports, leisure and ... urban farming. In 2017, a mix of 25 businesses established themselves on the new PAKT site. Chefs, brewers, baristas, coffee roasters, models, sports enthusiasts, digital centipedes and sustainable initiatives found their way to the site. A different universe was born in the heart of Antwerp.
In 2016, agrobiotechnologist Bram Stessel and community expert Adje Van Oekelen were hired for the design of a unique 1800 m2 urban agriculture project on the warehouse rooftops. In 2017, some 100 people from the neighbourhood started to grow their own vegetables and herbs on the rooftops. Soon, other urban farmers joined the cooperative. Today, farmers Kathy, Stijn, Joris, Wim and Joost are working together to sell their local products in Antwerp, using PAKT as their base. In 2019, Bram and Adje joined forces with landscape architect Damien Derouaux to set up similar sustainable projects in various cities.