Product designer, architect, interior designer – Vincent Van Duysen is one of the most prominent figures in the world of interiors. Turning down several opportunities to design hotels, he held off working on such a project until finding the right partner. In Mouche Van Hool – the brains behind another celebrated Antwerp-location, Hotel Julien – he found it. Together, they turned a 19th-century military hospital and convent into one of this year’s most exciting new hospitality destinations: August Hotel.

They joined the convent’s five separate buildings in a 44-room boutique hotel. Featuring private gardens, a guest library, an outdoor pool, spa, and restaurant curated by chef Nick Bril focusing on local and seasonal cuisine, it offers guests more than just beautifully designed rooms. But it’s the hotel’s bar with soaring ceilings that astounds – as the convent’s former chapel, Vincent Van Duysen worked with Callebaut Architecten to preserve the structure’s stunning original details. The ceiling, however, was painted pitch black to symbolize the slight departure with the purely historical.

Vincent Van Duysen’s mark on the design of the hotel is comprehensive: from the bathroom fixtures he designed for Fantini, to glassware from Serax, the lighting from Flos and upholstery from Molteni&C, his pieces can be found throughout. The concept behind the hotel’s look is a mix of his signature modern minimalist style with the grandiose yet austere feel of the original Augustinian convent. The opening of the August Hotel adds to Antwerp’s growing importance as a design-focused city.