Developed by the Michelin-starred chef Benoît Gerdsdorff, the first floating hotel in Europe could sail along the river Meuse. Presented at the Mipim, the concept has caused a sensation.
Twelve individual rooms developed from catamaran hulls, a restaurant, an educational greenhouse and accommodation for employees… Code name: “Projet D’O”. This is the concept developed by the Namur architect Patrick Genard and Benoît Gersdorff, boss of the Plage d’Amée and of the Nest. Inspired by the floating apartments of the Serbian company Salt & Water, this floating hotel could appear moored on the banks of the Meuse next year.
The individual rooms, of around 10 metres by 3, will each include a lounge, a shower and a lounge-terrace. In the daytime, they could move along the Meuse, between the two locks. At night, they will be moored to the Amée beach. Brimming with high-tech, these top of the range rooms will be powered with electricity and solar energy. They will be geolocatable when their occupants decide to sail them.
“Projet D’O” also sees itself as a mixed real-estate concept: as well as a hotel, it has an environmental, social and educational component. Moored, it will house, on 3 levels, a gourmet restaurant, an “urban café”, a lounge bar and a seminar-meeting-banqueting room. “The aim is also to make it a place of research into urban agriculture, local food systems, permaculture and traceability, says Benoît Gersdorff. As well as a social reintegration centre for young people interested in hotel and catering… Because, before being a real-estate product, it is first and foremost a human project.”
Presented at the fringe of the MIPIM, in Cannes, the project made a big impression. Especially on a Japanese investor, tempted to replicate the idea on other bodies of water. But Benoît Gersdorff is realistic: his idea can only materialise if he obtains the authorisations from the Namur Port Authority and if he builds the restaurant, for which the investment will stand at between 4 and 6 million. The City council is not against it, but has not officially issued its agreement.