Folks, the shower beer has been elevated. In a move that I would characterise as extremely Belgian, branding and interior design studio WeWantMore have designed Belgium’s first-ever beer spa Bath and Barley in Brussels.
While beer spas have been around in the neighbouring Czech Republic for quite some time, the vibe is often more beer than spa. Think dark and pub-like, with green or red neon lights included. The studio instead looked to intertwine bathing and Belgium’s infamous beer heritage with a more soothing wellness experience that focused on creating a sense of relaxation and intimacy.
Luxe from the get-go, the facade sets the tone. A curved copper installation, inspired by the ancient copper kettles used to brew beer allows a glimpse into the spa entrance and bar. Once inside, the arched shapes provide a sense of calm, their curved forms partition the room and extend to the ceiling where dried barley and hops hang within. The dangling branches soften the already warm interiors adding a textural depth to the enveloping space, while their scent enhances the spa experience with a sensorial element. The exposed walls, raw concrete and bluestone complete the earthy feel of the ground floor.
Housing a beautiful vaulted cellar, the building is located in the old city centre. With the association to Belgium’s medieval beer brewing culture in mind, the downstairs area strictly worked with more traditional materials like copper, grain and stained glass. Details like the straw seating feel authentic and kitsch at the same time, sitting next to a very lush infrared sauna. Copper taps and beer barrel baths are true to form, toeing the line of elevation and novelty.
Stained glass screens have church-like illustrations depicting beer brewing monks and priests, offering spa guests some privacy during their treatment. Continuing the design language to the railing of the staircase spot the knights, kettles and beer barrels amongst its steel frame.
Come for the spa and stay for the beer – or vice versa! This playful beer spa straddles both wellness and pub in a design that gives Belgians a new way to appreciate their beloved delicacy.
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