The old public bath house and swimming pool of the city was built during the first world war from 1914 op to 1916. It was meant as a work site on behalf of the city, it’s real goal being to have local young men appointed by the city to work on the building site, thus keeping them home instead of seeing them deported for forced labour in the former Prussian empire.
Many of the buildings of this entirely new block were also design try outs by the architects of that time to rebuild the city centre guild houses and town hall that had suffered the damages of the war.
To have been given the opportunity to turn the old buildings into another place of welcoming hospitality and human encounter, was therefore an honour for us.
We have been able to remove the abandoned technical building volumes and later building volumes that had suffered the ageing of less robust material and building techniques.
It allowed us to insert new circular constructions for rooms, to remodel the internal lay-out and to create out of the many singular building volumes, one consistent whole building experience.
This four star hotel has 124 bedrooms, interior and exterior bars and restaurants, meeting rooms and function rooms and above all, the history and close lived encounter of past with present.
It takes a top professional contractor to be able to control and construct in such a complex refurbishment project, CIT Blaton was up to par in every aspect. And then at the beginning and at the end, when taking over, there is a Client with a view, a mission and an empowering commitment: the Wohrmann family of the Van der Valk chain was all that, and much more.
Such a project is never designed by one team only, this would never have been possible without
- The city and landmark authorities of both the Flanders region and the city
- RE-ST, architects and conservation specialists
- Pirnay consulting structural engineers
- Van Reeth consulting M&E engineers.