Opening in time for The Olympics, The Barking Bathhouse is a spa, a bar, and a venue for lots of interesting talks and events.
"CREATE has commissioned Something & Son to design and build The Barking Bathhouse. Focusing on wellbeing, The Barking Bathhouse will experiment in the latest design, health and beauty ideas to help people feel happy and relaxed this summer during perhaps the most hectic period in London’s history. The Bathhouse will open on 26 July in Barking town centre and provide affordable spa treatments as well as a free social space for people to meet. Something & Son are the design practice behind the hugely successful FARM:shop in Dalston which saw the practice create a fully functioning farm within a disused shop. This new project is one of the Mayor’s Outer London Fund projects being delivered for Barking and Dagenham Council.
The Barking Bathhouse will combine a spa with a bar, where visitors will be able to sip healthy cocktails under a canopy of growing cucumbers and sunbathe in seaside-inspired pebble bays. After soaking up vitamins and being pampered with a variety of treatments –using produce grown by local allotment gardeners - visitors will be able to sweat it out or cool down in a traditional wooden sauna or a cold room with a pioneering ‘dry ice’ chiller. The purpose-built design of the Bathhouse is inspired by 20th century working men's bathhouses, ultra modern spas and Barking’s industrial heritage.
The spa area will consist of a series of massage and treatment rooms in addition to a traditional sauna and a cold room lined with ice blocks will bring traditional bathhouse rituals to the experience. There will also be a relaxation area with loungers. Massages, body treatments, manicures and pedicures will all be offered, and Something & Son are working with local beauticians and local allotment gardeners to develop natural and refreshing treatments. To reduce excessive water use the Bathhouse will not have communal pools or energy-wasting hot tubs.
In the bar cocktails, smoothies, snacks and spa treatments will all be offered on the bar menu, the cucumber canopy above the bar providing fresh produce for use in beauty treatments. Next door a beach-inspired pebble bay is set aside for socialising and sun bathing under a partially open roof. Shingle dunes will provide the perfect space to relax and unwind between treatments, or just to come and catch some rays over lunchtime.
The Bathhouse will also run a rich and varied events programme with workshops, talks and discussions with happiness and wellbeing as the central ethos. From talks on whether money can make you happy to chocolate making and meditation workshops, the programme will focus on establishing personal happiness. A workshop on the beauty myth will offer photoshop makeovers showing how media images of beauty are unattainable, while laughter yoga, clowning workshops and comedy nights will all bring an extra bit of happiness to the day."
When - 26 July – 9 September
Where - Axe Street, Barking & Dagenham, IG11 7LX
Cost - Free to enter, book sessions etc when you're there or in advance
Link 1 - Barking Bathhouse
Link 2 - Article