Tropicana is an experimental “quartier huis” located in the Alhambra neighborhood, right next to the beautiful KVS Flemish Theatre building. Tropicana was once known for a very different reason – the corner space at Rue de Laeken 148, (1000 Brussels, closest metro Yser or Place St Catharine) was occupied by a cafe bar which was causing a lot of trouble and was frequented by the shady clientele (street prostitution is an issue that affects several nearby streets in this district).
Since 2016, Tropicana is turned into a open, creative and authentic local corner – a place where one can meet their neighbors, drink coffee, study, do some crafts or work. Numerous events are organized in this space and more recently a Book swap club was started (trilingual) for all those that love the literature. Current membership comprises over 15 nationalities living and working in and around Brussels. Everyone who wishes to share a good book or swap interesting tale is welcome. The club is run by volunteers and is completely free of charge. You can browse at your leisure or join in an informal discussion.
Tropicana is also a space where people can organize an event, workshop, concert or a discussion group, free of charge. Organizers say that “Tropicana is an open space for everyone, owned by everyone. In tropicana you are not the guest, but the host.”
Tropicana is essentially an open & neutral space, which you can use at your leisure. Instead of trying to change the neighborhood or turning it into something else, Tropicana just offers this possibility for a place where you can… just be! Tropicana offers no answers, but questions how (public & private) space is organized. The team that manages the space noted that the building belongs to the OCMW of the City of Brussels and Tropicana as a project exists thanks to their benevolent permission.