Bath & Barley

Hospitality Bath & Barley
Disciplines +
Graphic design Identity design Interior design Brand concept

Bathing in Belgium's first beer spa

Beer spas. In the Czech Republic they’ve been around for quite a while. However, in Belgium - a nation known for its rich beer culture - the concept hadn’t found its way in yet. Until now, that is. After a trip to the Czech Republic and a visit to a beer spa, two young Belgian friends returned home with hydrated skin and a plan to launch the first Belgian beer spa in the heart of Brussels. An ambitious idea we helped shape all the way through, from the naming and branding down to the interior design. During our research, we couldn't help but notice most Czech beer spas are more beer than spa. Darkened and picturesque with a pub vibe. Green or red neon lights included. Not exactly our idea of a soothing wellness experience. Instead, we focused on creating a sense of relaxation and intimacy, but with an undeniable link to what sets Bath & Barley apart: beer, bathing and Belgium’s infamous beer heritage.   

The façade immediately sets the tone. A curved copper installation doesn’t reveal much, yet just enough to get a glimpse of the spa entrance and shop. It’s inspired by the ancient copper kettles used to brew beer. Once inside, the arched shapes evoke a sense of intimacy and calm.

Dried barley and hops are hanging from the ceiling. Their perfume adds a sensorial element to the spa experience, while the dangling branches soften up the warm lighting even more. The exposed walls, raw concrete and blue stone complete the earthy feel of the ground floor.

Located in the old city center of Brussels, the building itself housed a beautiful vaulted cellar. In that downstairs area, we continuously worked with more traditional materials like copper, grain and stained glass to keep the association with Belgium’s medieval beer brewing culture alive.

The stained-glass screens offer spa guests some privacy, while the church-like illustrations depicting beer brewing monks and priests are yet another link to Bath & Barley’s story. The railing of the staircase only adds to it. You’ll recognise knights, kettles and beer barrels. The minimally illustrated icons are part of the visual identity but return in the interior design in a steel version.  

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