Van Duysen transforms neoclassical convent into a design hotel in Antwerp

The neoclassical Flemish style convent now hosts a boutique hotel with a restaurant, bar, wellness area and shops.

The owners of the boutique hotel “Julien” in Antwerp have launched a new and aspiring hospitality project: August, born from the conversion of a former Augustinian convent into a hotel complex designed by the Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen. Consisting of five different buildings blended together – a hotel, a wellness area, several shops and a bar and a restaurant run by star chef Nick Bril – August is located in the former Antwerp military hospital, a conglomerate of neoclassical buildings now turned into an urban residential oasis. Van Duysen opted for a conservative redevelopment that started from the careful restoration of its neoclassical architecture in collaboration with Callebaut Architects by grafting black metal modern elements.

The Flemish construction style of the 18th century is combined with a sober modernism that intends to pay homage to the austere and dedicated convent lifestyle. The contrast between classic and contemporary is emphasized by the white-black chromaticism and the large-scaled and luminous windows in a previously closed environment. The original tile floors were restored and placed back in new-found glory while all the other interiors were custom designed by Van Duysen himself in collaboration with Molteni, Flos and Serax, among others.

As Van Duysen explains: “August is a place where you feel calm and at home without neglecting the fact that you are in a place that was sacred. We have fully considered the past as being a beautiful gift to keep and reinterpret what we have in a modern way. August strokes all the senses with the richness of its textures and objects that are in delicate harmony with its sacred soul”. 

Vincent Van Duysen
boutique hotel

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