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SILT, the new gem of Middelkerke, opens its doors

This weekend, a new jewel on the Belgian coast opens its doors. In Middelkerke, the general public can explore the brand-new, fossil-free casino SILT. The design team, including ZJA, Delva, Bureau Bouwtechniek, and VK architects+engineers, part of Sweco, demonstrates that an integrated approach yields more than just an aesthetic building: landscape and architecture intertwine in a harmonious way to create an integrated experience with full utilization of the unique atmosphere of the place.

Like many seaside resorts, Middelkerke has also known for more than a century the tradition of a casino as an attraction for bathers. These often striking presences on the coastline offer residents and tourists a range of entertainment. From concerts and events to gambling and culinary enjoyment: the “casino” gathers it all under one roof. In Middelkerke, this includes a hotel.

Landscape and architecture merge

This mix of activities within the same building often poses a challenge for designers. The Nautilus Construction Team, including ZJA, Delva, Bureau Bouwtechniek, and VK architects+engineers, part of Sweco, set the ambitions even higher.

Firstly, the modest building volume with a wooden basket rises atop an artificial dune. This dune strengthens the sea dike and conceals the event hall, the gaming hall, the restaurant, and an underground parking. The spaces offer through ceiling-high windows an impressive sea view. On top of the dune, pedestrians enjoy a park with water features. This connecting carrier extends over the adjacent Epernay square and creates a large car-free public space.

A home for numerous experiences

The visible building volume of SILT has 5 hotel floors. The central foyer with double floor height leads to both the hotel and the restaurant, the gaming hall, and event hall. The mix of functions is neatly acoustically separated by the experts from VK architects+engineers, part of Sweco. Hotel guests sleep undisturbed above a bustling gaming hall and event hall, thanks to thoughtful air and contact sound insulation. In all areas, it is pleasant to stay thanks to optimal room acoustics. Also, local residents experience no noise disturbance due to the acoustic optimization of facades, glazing, roof, and ventilation.

The technical solutions of our experts aim for optimal flexibility. On one hand, from the mix of activities in the building. On the other hand, the event hall itself offers 1000 m² space for various activities, from exhibitions, corporate and family parties to fashion shows, TV recordings, and sports galas. A sustainable approach ensures that SILT becomes a fossil-free home for entertainment, with, among other things, a minimum of active cooling.

As a beacon of modern architecture and multifunctionality, SILT invites you to experience the Belgian coast in a new way, in a rich tradition. The new casino brings comfort, tranquility, and entertainment together seamlessly thanks to an integrated design approach.