Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen completed his first hotel project. August, a former Augustinian cloister turned 44-room hotel, is housed within five structures and celebrates history and Flemish culture in Antwerp’s Green Quarter.
Paying homage to the structural integrity and spirituality of the former cloister while also crafting a unique visual identity suited to a contemporary hotel posed the greatest challenge to Van Duysen when considering the design concept for August. What results is informed by the strong existing aesthetic of the nunnery and adjacent townhouses that make up the hotel’s public areas and guestrooms.
Wooden ceilings, arched windows and restored patterned floor tiles frame pared-down interiors, which are defined by the use of desaturated colors augmented by a few design pieces. The main bar and lounge area, for example, features an Adolf Loos-like light feature by Flos, and customized furniture created in collaboration with Molteni&Co.
Guestrooms are set in former nuns’ living quarters, and design here pays homage to convent life. Room footprints are unique thanks to the make-up of the different buildings that connect to make the hotel. Bespoke finishings can be found in the room design, from the tailored Flos lighting to the Portuguese handwoven carpets. In the bathrooms, Van Duysen designed Fantini taps to round out the look, paying complement to Italian hand-glazed tiles.
The project also includes a wellness area located in one of the terraced brick townhouses. It comprises a sauna, hammam and hot stone therapy room. Rounding out the offerings are a swimming pond and a library.
Photo: Courtesy of Design Hotels