Residential complex The Grand

Architect: David Chipperfield Architects with Bureau Bouwtechniek
Client: VDD project development BV
Advisors: Origin (restauration), Arjaan De Feyter (interior), Bureau Bouwtechniek (EPB), Mouton (stability), HP engineers (techniques), Macobo (acoustics), Advice for all (safety coordination)
Location: Nieuwpoort
Surface: 15.150 m² 
Timing: 2018 -  
Budget: € 23.000.000 
Status: execution phase

©Tim Fisher

Project Support I Collaboration
Technical Advice I EPR

Renovation, restoration and new construction of the listed The Grand.

Le Grand Hôtel or The White Residence from 1924 is considered one of the most iconic art deco buildings on the Belgian coast. In 1981, the facades in natural stone and plastered brick were already protected, as were parts of the interior. The former hotel will be converted into a residential complex with seventy flats and a ground floor with a bar and brasserie on the Zeedijk.

Special features

  • High-rise building (approx. 30 m high)  
  • Frontal sea location (salty climate, strong wind and rain loads).
    In combination with the highrise a challenge in the field of detailing. 
  • Arched self-supporting facade masonry.
    The facade on the Zeedijk is characterised by an extra-large arch with a span of 10 m that is suspended from the supporting structure.
  • Working in the context of a partially protected heritage site. 
    The new extension is based on a design and materiality similar to the existing historic building layers but with subtle differences. The design is based on calibrated new bricks instead of the cemented existing bricks with simili-Euville plaster. The abstracted arch forms in the new façade sections stand alongside the strongly decorated arch forms in the existing façades. 
  • Fire safety in a historic and partially protected building. 


On the existing building of 4 upper storeys, 4 additional storeys are mounted, 2 in the facade (+4 and +5) and 2 under the roof (+6 and +7). A challenge for the existing construction and floor structure.

  • New concrete columns (skeleton) in the façade carry the additional loads down both the façades, and (via floor) to the rebuilt spine walls. 
  • The new floors are therefore a balancing act between minimal weight vs acoustic comfort.  

Circularity and sustainability 

Together with DCA, we believe in the philosophy of adaptive reuse, giving new functions to historic buildings. At The Grand, this is made concrete through the addition of additional floors in a contemporary architectural language that reinforces the original idea of the design. 

Reconciling historic heritage with 21st-century residential dreams is a complex exercise with maximum sustainability in mind. Fossil fuels will be excluded. Air conditioning will be provided by individual heat pumps that will be connected to geothermal drilling (totaling nearly 10 kilometers) under the new parking lot. In addition, 220 (invisible) solar panels are also planned.

Bureau Bouwtechniek

BB is responsible for the complete construction engineering support of the architects during the design process, the submission of the environmental permit, the preparation of the execution plans, the development of technical details, the preparation of the architectural specifications and the estimation. BB leads the control of the execution and is EPB reporter.

Team BB: ir. arch. Arno Van Hulle, ir. arch Elien Coppitters, ir. arch. Dana Dee, ir. arch. Cas Verstraete, Hanne Van Brabant, ir. arch. Jona Van Steenkiste, ing. Julie Huybrighs, arch. Lieselot Prinsie. ir. arch. Marleen Meulenbergs, arch. Raf De Preter, arch. Ruben Van Vooren, ir. arch. Thijs Verfaillie

The Grand - The Movie