Inside The Jane, Antwerp's Palatial New Designer Restaurant

After three years of intensive conceptualizing, design and construction, The Jane, Antwerp's newest dining hotspot — and arguably its best-looking one — finally opened its doors last month. Just as the Belgian city has been building buzz as a center for innovative design these past few years, the Jane, which was the collaborative effort of chefs Sergio Herman and Nick Bril, and Dutch superstar designer Piet Boon's studio, certainly furthers that notion.

Formerly the chapel of a military hospital, the bi-level space features a 65-seat main restaurant, as well as an upper bar area decked out to accomodate another 40 guests or so. Despite being a jaw-dropping visual extravaganza, one that takes advantage of the soaring ceilings and huge windows with massive chandeliers and custom stained glass, Boon's studio, which worked in conjunction with several other design studios on individual components such as lighting and windows, set out to preserve as much of the chapel's original interior as possible. The altar, for example, remains, but in the form of a glass-encased open kitchen, where a different kind of "ceremony" takes place.

For design snobs and history buffs alike, this site, once associated with the casualties of wartime, is now an elegant yet undisputably cool place to break bread. Check out the slideshow below.

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