Jonathan Tuckey wins contest to revamp Belgian tannery

Outside, the introduction of flood defences, a stabilising planting scheme and elevated walkways to ‘glamping’ cabins, aim to negate the impact that inclement weather has historically had on the site, the practice said.

It will feature a lightweight linear ground-floor extension, with floor-to-ceiling glazing offering views of the woodland beyond.

The design includes three separate stairways, with an external spiral steel staircase leading to an open-air rooftop viewing deck, cut into the pitched eaves of the tannery.

London-based Jonathan Tuckey Design described the building as ‘an imposing 60m-long horizontal monolith’ , adding that its ‘vacant shell rises from a river confluence, a substantial reminder of 20th-century industrial decline’.

The project, designed in collaboration with Belgian practice BC Architects & Studies, will give a new lease of life to the Viroinval Tannery, situated in an area of natural beauty in the Walloon region.

As well as BC Architects & Studies, Jonathan Tuckey Design will be working with BAS bvba (structural engineers), FTI (M&E) and Wouter Rommens (ecologist).


The revamped tannery is set to become a cultural meeting point, offering a tailored experience of accommodation, dining and outdoor activity, Jonathan Tuckey Design said.

The factory stopped operating in 1981 and has been deteriorating since.

‘The timber colonnade references the original building’s rhythmic internal vernacular, with this proposed addition to house a restaurant and communal workspace,’ the practice added.

The brief, commissioned by Belgian client Miss Miyagi, asked for the original structure to be preserved and restored whilst injecting contemporary functionality and ambition in a bid to bring tourism and commerce to the area.