A former Augustinian convent becomes a modern-day sanctuary at August in Antwerp designed by Vincent Van Duysen.
A new hospitality project including a hotel, bar, restaurant, wellness and shop. Almost everything you see in August's interior was custom designed by Van Duysen, in collaboration with Molteni, Flos and Serax, among others. Food and drinks will be served in Passe-Partout tableware by Vincent Van Duysen for serax, specially designed for August.
test 1
In Antwerp, the people behind renowned boutique hotel 'Hotel Julien' have launched a new and aspiring hospitality project: August. On the recently developed Military Hospital site, a former Augustinian convent becomes a modern-day sanctuary for both Antwerp residents and foreign visitors to enjoy. August re-envisions its historical central function with an open restaurant and a bar, a bespoke hotel with dedicated wellness area, an open air swimming pond and secluded gardens. August consists of 5 different buildings, seamlessly blended together under the guidance of legendary Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen in his first-ever hotel project. The restaurant and bar are curated and envisioned by well-known star chef Nick Bril, of neighbouring Michelin-star restaurant The Jane.
test 1
Food and drinks will be served in specially designed August tableware. The 'Passe-partout' collection is designed by Vincent Van Duysen for Serax and includes glassware, porcelain tableware, cutlery and wooden objects. The past is reflected in many aspects of this collection. Glasses that are vaguely reminiscent of chalices, and carafes of different sizes that make any bottle on the table superfluous. With the porcelain tableware, countless visual effects can be created by stacking or by playing with the contrasting white and black exterior colours. The cutlery and wooden accessories also follow the blueprint Vincent Van Duysen had in mind for Passe-partout: no-nonsense, a tad nostalgic, while at the same time very contemporary.
test 1
Created with a deep respect for its heritage, August is a modern-day sanctuary, echoing the sacred soul of historical Belgian architecture whilst intertwining a contemporary modernism. Situated in a luscious green corner of the former Military Hospital site in Antwerp, it embodies the character of the area at its finest.
“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
test 1
The neoclassical monument of the former Military Hospital of Antwerp served to care for wounded soldiers for most of the previous century. The beautiful conglomerate of neo-classical buildings have since been restored and redeveloped into an urban residential oasis. The different and divers typology of buildings of the Military Hospital convent were home for those who cared for the soldiers, an understated home for the nuns to withdraw from the hectic task among the wounded and ill.
The strategy of Vincent Van Duysen Architects to turn this hidden gem and its gardens into August was to respect the historical DNA of the site and its surroundings, and to align it with the principles that are used for the general redevelopment of the other historical listed buildings – a careful restoration of its architectural neoclassical splendour in collaboration with Callebaut Architects and the addition of black metal contemporary architectural elements to upgrade to the new function and modern hospitality life.
test 1
The interior is designed as a warm and timeless tribute to the dedicated convent lifestyle. Every step you take within August shows a meticulously thought-out aesthetic. Each element has been custom-designed to match the authentic heritage with a contemporary touch. The intricate designs of the original tile floors were restored and placed back in new-found glory. Large-scaled windows allow for an abundance of natural light, which stands in great contrast with the closed character of its former function. Almost everything you see in August's interior was custom designed by Van Duysen, in collaboration with Molteni, Flos and Serax, among others.
test 1
In the interior colours refer to elements of the existing with its soft green wood, dark smoked oak or black and white to emphasise the contrast between the contemporary (black) and the classic (white). This attitude has been consciously applied all over the project and returns its classical feel now to the new public.
Photography by Robert Rieger