The grand project 2


An historical
building with a
contemporary spirit

To restore the iconic monument to its original grandeur and return its status, a ground-breaking total project was undertaken in collaboration with the internationally acclaimed architectural firm David Chipperfield Architects and the restoration architects at Origin. The design introduces an innovative means of redeveloping a building, in which its historic qualities are celebrated and interventions are permitted only if they amplify the original idea of the premises.

In its new role ‘The Grand’ will have several functions to fulfil. There will be 70 apartments of varying floor areas. Also, the ground floor will be opened to the general public. The historical bar and brasserie facing the seafront will be restored to their former glory. Space is also set aside for three large business units on the Albert I Avenue side. This will breathe new life into the magnificent heritage building and give it a new role in Nieuwpoort Bad.


Old and new architecture
in harmony

The building analyses and historical studies were used to produce a scale of values for the premises. All parts of historical value, such as the three façades and the statues that characterise them, the foyer, the bar and the brasserie are to be carefully restored. The original colour scheme for the walls, ceilings and foyer staircase is to be reinstated, as a study of the materials has shown that it was entirely different to today's. The parts of lesser historical value will be reinterpreted or given a new function, based on the building's heritage values.

The Belle Epoque elements that disappeared either during the Second World War or as a result of the works undertaken in the 1960s are to be reconstructed in a modern manner through a playful, contemporary and refined reinterpretation of the existing architectural language. Thus, the iconic towers, the domes, the canopy over the entrance, the portico and the corner terrace will dazzle as they did in the glory days.

Alongside a respectful restoration and renovation there will be a new and modern extension. With the growth of Nieuwpoort Bad after WWII the building was completely swallowed up by the coastline. In response, the monument will be restored to its historical position as a beacon in the landscape. Thanks to new floor levels the building will grow, literally and figuratively, to become a new landmark and reassert itself once again on the skyline of Nieuwpoort Bad.

The new floor levels have been designed with the utmost respect for the original design, and the architectural reinterpretation is embedded harmoniously in the monument's allure. The design of the additional floor levels does not seek to impose a specific style on the building or create a sharp contrast between old and new. It ties in with the architectural language and colour scheme used on the walls of the existing building, but uses simplified details and functional decoration. The new roof volume picks up on important elements of the former roofscape - towers, domes and dormer windows - to restore the building's iconic silhouette. The whole is returned to the grandeur so typical of this architectural style, yet remains within justifiable scale. The character and essence of the building's Beaux Arts style, which rest on grandeur, are neither diminished nor augmented.

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Enchanting interiors
by Arjaan De Feyter

That character is also carried through to the interior designs. With spaciousness as the central focus, interior architect Arjaan De Feyter has created an optimal floor plan for each apartment, characterised by efficient use of the space available. Classic ‘Le Grand Hôtel’ elements are subtly re-invoked thanks to the contemporary interpretation of the skirting boards, mouldings, doors and so on. Find out more about the apartments »

Wellness & comfort

Enjoy comfort on
a grandiose scale

In the interior, the grandeur and opulence of yesteryear translates to absolute comfort by today's standards. The luxury evident in each apartment is also incorporated in the design of the shared areas. Thus the restored, historical foyer leads residents to the private pool, the relaxing wellness area and the underground bike and car park with widened garage boxes. The new central hall, which brings back the original circulation, forms an internal link between the Zeedijk and Albert I Avenue. This gives residents rapid access to both the beach and the shopping street.

The grand project 6


Concern for
green energy

Ecology and sustainability also play an important role. Besides circular construction, a variety of modern and sustainable techniques have been chosen such as geothermal heating, solar panels and maximum heat recuperation to keep consumption to an absolute minimum. The building will be heated and cooled without fossil fuels (no gas), giving each apartment optimal winter and summer comfort.

A few figures:

- The 9,372 metres of geothermal boreholes under the new car park generate 211,296 kWh of energy, which is used to heat and cool the apartments.

- The 220 (invisible) solar panels on the roof provide 75,900 kWh of energy, which is used for the shared areas.

- The building's CO2 footprint is reduced by 84%.

- The apartments are especially energy efficient, with E ratings of between 15 and 25.

The grand project 7

Hendrika Square

Showcase of
the West Coast

Nieuwpoort town council will take advantage of the occasion not only to resurface the Zeedijk from Veurnestraat, but to breathe new life into Hendrika Square. The open-air car park will make way for an experience and activity area in which children will be able to play at their leisure, visitors will be able to relax, and small scale events can be organised by and for the community. The tourist information office will relocate to the restored Hurlebise Villa, on the opposite corner of the square. As a result, the Square and The Grand will be the place to meet in Nieuwpoort Bad.

Landscape Architect Bas Smets will design the square in collaboration with David Chipperfield Architects. The design is still in progress, so for now the 3D images are simply by way of illustration.