Following 2 years of design development and working closely with the international design teams, local authorities and other stakeholders, construction on site on the The Corinthia Grand Hotel Astoria project in Brussels kicked off in January 11, 2021, and currently, the main focus on the construction site are the preparations for certain demolition works while preserving the historical elements of the building, working in a safe environment and protecting the main architecture and facades.
The building itself dates back to more than a century and was built according to outdated construction technologies which do not meet current international standards, even when one takes into account wear and tear. The reconstruction works require extreme skill and careful management all of which has and continue to be managed by the QP team on site. The biggest challenge at hand is to work on preserving the building in as much of the original form as possible whilst making the necessary alterations and improvements to convert the building into a modern luxurious landmark hotel.
The team on the ground supported by our senior partners from Malta have been working closely with the chief architect of the project- renowned Belgian architect Francis Metzger. Construction works have been entrusted to Jansen and Herpain working under the superintendence of The Direction du Patrimoine Culturel (Directorate of Cultural Heritage). Working on such a sensitive cultural heritage site is always challenging especially when our aim is to restore the old building to its former glory, whilst needing to rebuild important elements to make the building safe and appropriate for modern-day use. Challenging works on site are further compounded by the fact that the building has long been in a state of disuse. Due to the fact that so many changes have been done to the building and surrounding area, the process of ensuring that work is done diligently to preserve the original characteristics of the architecture is a painstaking laborious exercise that requires skill and special attention by the QP project team.
The extensive renovation will include the rebuilding of the internal components of the building using specialised materials and workmanship to include a hotel inventory of 126 bedrooms and suites, extensive banqueting, dining and spa facilities, as well as the addition of two floors to the original building structure. The hotel will offer its guests a special touch of a luxury florist, boutique chocolatier, as well as exquisite bars and the Courtyard lounge.
Given the scale and importance of the project, the site has received continuous visits by dignitaries and local statesman, including the recent showround given to the Secretary of State for Urbanism and Heritage of the Brussels Capital Region, Mr Pascal Smet, responsible for urbanism, European and international relations who visited the site together with the Ambassador of Malta to Brussels- Mr Ray Azzopardi. As Mr Smet noted on his Twitter account, “Hotel Astoria will not only be the most elegant hotel in Brussels. It will also be a meeting place for people visiting Brussels and for Brusselsers.”
The Corinthia Astoria Grand Hotel is located in the heart of Brussels, on the historic Rue Royale. It is the perfect place for both business and leisure travellers to enjoy the city and feel the breath of history, as it was built back in 1909 by order of King Leopold II and whose guests included Winston Churchill, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol.
The project is expected to be completed by late 2023 welcoming its first guests in 2024.