'The designers respected the existing structures of the building while creating rich, sumptuous interiors and injecting light humour into the spaces with carefully selected taxidermy pieces.'AHEAD Awards judging panel
Château de Vignée
Residing in a still life painting
Château de Vignée was a classic hunters’ hotel in the Belgian Ardennes. Its goal was to become a luxury retreat for guests seeking an escape from our fast-paced society. The target market was twofold: both the estate’s more conventional existing clientele and modern-day travelers with high-end design needs.
Intrigued by the estate’s heritage, our initial inspiration came from 18th century ‘nature morte’ paintings portraying the art of hunting in a claire-obscure manner. This starting point evolved into a design concept drawing from the sensorial experience of a hunter exploring the Ardennes. We imagined how it must feel for a hunter to wander the woods at five in the morning. The textures, the sounds, dawn light shimmering through the canopy. A recognizable experience for hotel guests. At the same time, we searched for a balance between drama and marvel. We wanted to make a stay at Château de Vignée genuinely fun.
Nestled along the river Lesse, this boutique hotel includes 25 bespoke rooms, a bar and lounge area, a fine dining restaurant, a private dining room, two event venues, and a spa.
The tone is set as soon as you enter the main château building. A seasonal faux flower installation descends into the lobby. Rays of sunlight seem to pierce the greenery.
In the bar section, a custom designed bas-relief in the backbar catches the eye. The hunting scene is made from Ardennes sourced blue stone.
In the lounge, traditional taxidermy pieces made room for darkly humorous art objects created by Dutch design duo Les Deux Garçons.
Beware of the silverware in the private dining. The magpie’s fascination for all things shiny resulted in an unusual wall unit.
The rooms’ interior design echoes the fluid beauty of the Ardennes region. Sometimes flamboyant, sometimes tranquil.
The visual identity draws from the same hunting narrative, but focusses on the signature beauty of the Ardennes from up close. Every season trees grow, rivers swell and dry out, animals arrive and migrate, ... and with them the textures, graphical patterns and colour palette evolve. So we created an evolutive branding following nature’s rhythm. It changes every season to align with the guest experience.