David Chipperfield Architects has unveiled his restoration plans for the Grand Hotel in Nieuwpoort, Belgium. Started in 2019, the project converts the structure into a residential building, while seeking to reinstate its landmark status. Becoming “The Grand residential building”, the architecture will also take on an extension that underlines a “sensitive understanding of heritage value and entails reinterpretation and invention as well as restoration”.
Commissioned by VDD Project Development and designed by David Chipperfield Architects London, the Grand residential building is set for completion in 2024. Adapting and extending the historic building, the project engages directly with the original fabric of construction.
The new design will not impose a style or signature to the building, nor create a contrast between the historic fabric and its new additions, according to the architects. The intervention “seeks to restore the building’s grandeur while converting it into a residential building for private apartments with a restaurant, bar, and retail on the ground floor along with a residents’ pool at basement level”.
Regaining its status as a landmark on the beachfront, The Grand residential building allows a nuanced reading of the history of the Grand Hotel, designed originally by Belgian architect Apollon Lagache in 1924. Located at the seaside resort of Nieuwpoort, the building deteriorated as the city grew and as war ravaged the waterfront.
Looking back at history while introducing the needs of the present and the possibility for future survival, David Chipperfield Architects proposed to restore the entrance and retain his original façade, granted protection status in 1981. The building will grow in scale with additional four stories, and the apartments, on the upper floors, will be respectful to the original structure of the hotel. The graceful bays and terraces will be reinstated, and lost elements, such as the tower and the domes, will be reestablished “with a playful, contemporary re-interpretation of the existing architectural language”.
The Grand residential building
- Project start: 2019
- Completion due: 2024
- Gross floor area: 15,100 m2
- Client: VDD Project Development
- Architect: David Chipperfield Architects London
- Director: David Chipperfield, Benito Blanco, Billy Prendergast
- Project architect: Alexander Hill, Joe Hewlett
- Team: Ricardo Alvarez, Isabel de Azevedo, Anahita Brahmbhatt, Annebe Brouwer, Cathal Crumley, Judi Diab, Ines Gavelli, Tom Herre, Mattias Kunz, Lydia Liu, Aurora Montero, Tram Huong Ngo, Katherine Nolan.
- Local architect: Bureau Bouwtechniek
- Restoration architect: Origin Architecture & Engineering
- Structural engineer: Mouton
- Services engineer: HP Engineers
- Acoustic consultant: Macobo-Stabo Construction Engineers
- Interior designer: Arjaan De Feyter