An eclectic style
with a Beaux Arts twist
and Art Deco accents
In 1924, the Societé Anonyme de Nieuport Bains tasked the Brussels architect Apollon Lagache (1882-1940) to design and build two prestigious buildings, namely the ‘Grand Hôtel’ and ‘Le Petit Casino’. He opted for an eclectic style with a Beaux-Arts look and feel and Art Deco accents. Both buildings towered above the other buildings, framing the skyline of Nieuwpoort-Bad.
From 1958 until 1963, the building was used as a holiday residence and renamed the ‘White Residence’. The layout of the former hotel was partly reorganised and redesigned, merging existing rooms in addition to installing additional bathrooms and new kitchens. Many valuable elements disappeared during this first restoration.
A MONUMENT IN DECAY
From the sixties onwards, the building deteriorated due to a lack of structural maintenance. The distinctive outline of this once renowned, magnificent Art Deco building was lost and overshadowed by the scale of the surrounding buildings as the city grew. The roof landscape looks decapitated and the ground floor level has been disfigured. The building has been stripped of its yesteryear aura and function as a historic beacon. Moreover, it has since become unusable, as it no longer meets the current safety, energy and usage requirements. The maintenance and cost management are a disaster. In the summer of 2018, the property was declared a fire and safety hazard and closed to the public. The monument has fallen into disrepair. The time has come for a renovation.
VDD Project Development, which specialises in the development of historic sites, acquired the building and is undertaking a comprehensive renovation of the ‘Grand Hôtel’ or ‘White Residence’. The company’s intention is to restore this monument to its former grandeur and reopen it, under its new name ‘The Grand’, in time for its centenary. The property development company has drawn up an ambitious renovation plan in collaboration with David Chipperfield Architects (UK), the Brussels restoration architects Origin, the Flanders Heritage Agency and the Municipality of Nieuwpoort. The plans for this unique restoration project have since been submitted.