As a final project of the Interior Design course, I was asked to refurbish the Castle of Poeke, an impressive building situated between the historic cities of Bruges and GhentThis was a spectacular piece of architecture with endless potential. Unfortunately, decades of neglect meant that it was largely over-looked by the wealth of tourists that the area attracted.
Comissioned by the board of Aalter, I was asked to refurbish an extraordinary castle, hidden deeply in a secluded forest; the brief was to give it a new purpose.
Due to the stunning landscape of forests and meadows, millions of visitors every year flock to the area to enjoy a day or weekend of hiking, cycling, and horseback riding, to name just a few of the many activities possible. The building is located on the route of a prominent hiking track and is therefore the perfect stop for people to come together, take a break or enjoy a refreshment after a long walk. Some may even catch up on some sleep and enjoy a ‘royal’ night in a castle. My goal for this project is to turn this impressive historic building into a vibrant landmark for travellers, tourists and families, submersed in nature.
Respectful development of this building is a priority, owing to the fact the castle is quite rightly listed as a National Heritage site. I identified the initial challenge was to balance the importance of keeping everything in it’s original state whilst giving the rooms and it’s characteristics a contemporary interpretation. It was essential to give the visitor a memorable, dramatic impact that appealed to their thirst of curiousity to delve deeper in to the building, nurturing a desire to explore the castle further to uncover it’s secrets.
The result was a design that encompassed a dynamic, contrasting route that meandered throughout the entire building, neatly slicing the old sections of the castle, with the modern areas without ever dividing spaces completely. My vision was to allow visitors to adventure through the two completely different worlds in each room, revitalising history in each space. Curtains define the frontier of each style, whilst engineering a dreamy, mysterious atmosphere with a natural flow throughout.