Swedish hotel group Pandox, aware of the great potential of the strategic site, is investing 35 million euros in the construction of an annex on the adjacent plot of the Le Palace Hotel – previously operated as a Crowne Plaza -, all on a total area of 7,300 m2.
With this substantial extension, the new accommodation capacity of the DoubleTree by Hilton Brussels City hotel will increase from 354 to 505 fully renovated rooms, the largest hotel capacity in Belgium. One of the singularities and strengths of this extension is the construction of a second Ballroom of over 600 m2 and 4 additional conference rooms in addition to the Ballroom and its 16 existing meeting rooms. The hotel’s total reception area, including the foyer and reception areas, will therefore cover nearly 2,750 m2, making it the hotel in the capital with the largest capacity for business and leisure receptions.
On the roof of the hotel, accessible directly from the street by an exterior lift, there will be a hanging garden of 400 m2 fully landscaped for hotel guests and the public outside. But also a rooftop bar and restaurant installed on two floors and covering 650 m2. All with a breathtaking view of the Botanical Garden, the skyscraper, the old town and Place Rogier.
On the ground floor, at the corner of Place Rogier, a commercial space of 250 m2, distinct from the hotel in terms of its location, but also in terms of its access, will probably be occupied by an internationally renowned restaurant concept. The first floor will include a large, state-of-the-art fitness room that will be accessible to hotel guests and locals alike.
For the design of the annex, out of the 72 applications submitted, that of the Milan office Onsitestudio – Piovenefabi was selected, in association with the Belgian office Bouwtechniek. The execution of the works was entrusted to the construction companies Denyset Socatra in association.
This geometric Art Nouveau style hotel – formerly known as Le Palace hotel – was built in 1908-1909 to plans by architects Antoine Pompe and Adhèmar Lener. As part of the desire to respect the singular character of the initial building, the Onesitestudio office signs an innovative architectural project while establishing a relationship of continuity by analogy with the image of the adjoining buildings, both in terms of overall size and proportionality. In this sense, the project proposes to carefully reinterpret the missing building, recreating a new facade with a strong urban character. Offering a façade with bow windows, the extension evokes the tone of 19th century Brussels architecture and also echoes the neighboring Lener et Pompe building and the Horta experiences. A central atrium with overhead lighting will connect the old and the new building. The facade will be a mix of precast concrete, Pierre Bleue and Pierre de France.
The extension will meet the strict and demanding sustainability criteria defined by the international certification BREAAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), and will therefore benefit from this certification. The measures used by BREEAM certification represent a wide range of categories and criteria ranging from energy to ecology: energy, water use, health and well-being, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management process. Certification sets a benchmark for sustainable construction and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely used assessment methods for describing a building’s environmental performance.