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Chateau de Vignee was previously a classic hunter’s hotel strategically located between Brussels and Luxembourg. The brief WeWantMore received was to transform it into a top destination for travellers in the luxury segment in the Belgian Ardennes region, offering an all-encompassing high-end hospitality experience. The project brief included the interior design of a boutique hotel with twenty-five bespoke rooms, a bar area, a Gault & Millau listed restaurant, a private dining, two event venues and an in- and outdoor wellness area.
It was key to appeal to both the modern–day traveller with high-end design needs in the luxury segment as the more conventional existing hunting clientele of the estate. Furthermore, the requirements set by Relais & Chateaux needed to be met within the context of the 17th-century chateau building. The old chateau building and the courtyard were completely restored, while a new-build element was added to the estate to host part of the rooms and the entire wellness area.
Chateau de Vignée was set on becoming a luxury retreat for its guests to escape a fast-paced society. Unwinding there means surrendering to nature because the strong-willed landscape of the Ardennes is truly undeniable. So, WeWantMore positioned Chateau de Vignée as an entity in sync with its natural surroundings. The design concept sprouted from the hotel’s history and impressive surroundings.
Intrigued by the Chateau’s century-long link with hunting, WeWantMore imagined the sensorial experience of a hunter exploring the Ardennes. The visual perception of sunlight breaking through the leaf canopy. A ray of light strikes one spot but leaves its surroundings in the dark. Like a natural claire obscure effect. The sounds of the misty forest awaking. The lingering suspense of an unexpected encounter. The design studio aimed to capture this feeling in the design of the interior and branding because it is sensation hotel guests will resonate with during their stay in the Ardennes region.
WeWantMore expressed the hunter’s journey throughout the interior. Entering the main chateau building immediately sets the tone. A seasonal faux flower installation descends from the sky in the lobby. Rays of sunlight seem to pierce through the greenery. In the bar section, a custom-designed bas-relief in the back bar catches the eye. The hunting scene is made up out of Ardennes sourced BlueStone.
WeWantMore opted for native marbles and natural stones like Rouge Belge and Gris d’Ardenne throughout the entire project to add to the main design concept. The tailor-made terrazzo flooring in the lobby is entirely composed out of marble fragments of the former hotel rooms. The hunter’s journey continues in the lounge, where the custom-designed lighting branches out across the ceiling conjuring the same early morning, gloomy forest atmosphere. The interior design of the rooms echoes the fluid beauty of the Ardennes region. Expressive and flamboyant on occasion, but equally pure and tranquil at other points in time.
Since it was key to appeal to both the modern-day traveller as the more conventional existing clientele of the estate, WeWantMore searched for the right balance between heritage and marvel. The design studio wanted to make it genuinely fun for guests to be there, but still, respect the history of the building and site. So, WeWantMore interpreted classic hunting and natural elements in a novel way. The visual identity draws from the same hunting narrative. Just like Chateau de Vignée’s surroundings, all branding elements, as well as the installations, are updated every season to align with the overall guest experience. While some hotels offer a sense of escapism by keeping out the outside world, a Chateau de Vignée, WeWantMore consciously pulled it indoors to enhance the connection with nature. The interior design and visual identity combined, reduce the boundaries between out- and indoors to a minimum adding to the unwinding experience of Chateau de Vignee.
To find out more about WeWantMore’s work, check their website here.
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