Belgian practice BURO II designed some new projects around this historic site with a great importance to the city of Ostend. This is, amongst others, determined by its location: the proximity to the sea the Royal Galleries and the historically important Thermae Palace. The former racecourse for horse racing was turned into a collection of projects, and a crossroads of activities, which bring a new urban dynamic to ‘the queen of seaside resorts’.
The inner court of the Royal Racecourse has been redeveloped as a golf course (1).
The protected ‘little castle’ has been restored and renovated into the clubhouse for the golfers on the one hand; and on the other hand, into a restaurant with a stunning view on the first floor (2). The Kinepolis movie complex slips into these urban natural surroundings. The building’s volume follows the projection and visible lines of the halls, and minimizes its presence in comparison to the monumental views. The concept is based on the flow of pedestrians – starting from the Royal Galleries through the foyer along the racecourse. The corporate venue rooms on the first floor offer a stunning view over the racecourse (3). On the other side, 114 apartments are being built, whereby the maritime character can be found in both the design and in the use of materials, with large glass surfaces and white concrete. The continuous use of terraces makes the sea part of life in this building (4).
Finally, these developments include a sports complex, with a shopping center and office space – good for a total of 23,000 sqm. This sports temple is above the half submerged shopping complex. Around the stands, one is surrounded by an aura of positive rooms. In addition, two parking towers were constructed, providing parking space for 500 cars (5).