This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Modern Bathhouse Oasis Hidden In Collingwood's Backstreets

Creative People

The streets of Collingwood in Melbourne are filled with old warehouse buildings, leftover from the suburb’s history as a busy industrial area. These days, you can find any number of creative businesses behind these innocuous facades – but perhaps none quite so unexpected as Sense of Self, a modern day spa and bathhouse that has recently opened its doors!

 

16th March, 2021

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Sally Tabart
Tuesday 16th March 2021

Five years in the making, Sense of Self (or SOS) occupies an entire double storey warehouse building in Melbourne’s Collingwood.

On the top floor is a day spa that opened late last year, but it’s downstairs where you’ll find the main attraction: a beautifully designed bathhouse that has only just opened to the public. ‘We came to know the benefits of bathing through personal experiences in early adulthood, when we were at odds with our bodies and ourselves’, explains Freya Berwick, who is the co-founder of SOS, with business partner (and filmmaker) Mary Minas.

The pair met while studying business, and both had already started exploring their own interests in bathing culture around the world. Mary had traveled the world researching for a documentary about bathing through the ages, while Freya had recently returned from a stint in Norway, where she had re-developed and managed the hotel Fjærland Fjordstove, situated on the side of a fjord where you can experience extreme hot/cold contrast bathing.

Back in Collingwood, SOS bathhouse facilities include a large mineral bath (39℃), Finnish sauna (80℃), pail shower and cold plunge (opening in April), as well as their day spa and retail offerings. Closer to the winter months, they will also be opening a Hammam (a Turkish spa), where guests can scrub down with SOS products.

An oasis tucked away in the middle of the urban sprawl, the design scheme is what truly defines the experience. The tranquil, voluminous warehouse space takes on a neutral palette with splices of terracotta and forest green (largely thanks to the plant design by Ryan Klewer of The Plant Charmer), while rendered walls, concrete forms, travertine and sandstone (crafted by Fraser Munro of Munro Builds) ground the environment. Brass finishes and tapware from Sussex Tapware elevate the space into one of subtle luxury.

Mary and Freya worked with a female-led collaborative design team from SetSquare Studio, Chamberlain Architects and Hearth Studio, alongside builders MIC, to bring SOS to life.

Gender and body inclusivity is a core pillar of Mary and Freya’s vision for SOS, with the view that the bathhouse should be available to every body. ‘A big motivator for us was to engage with every body by creating a space that welcomes all regardless of gender or physical capabilities’, Freya explains. While the day spa area is up a flight of stairs (and therefore not accessible), the downstairs bathhouse has been designed with differently-abled bodies in mind. ‘Pathways and surfaces are easy to traverse when using a wheelchair, clear sight lines for personal safety are employed while still creating nooks and personal spaces that allow for privacy and quiet reflection.’ There are individual change rooms, as well as a pool hoist and DDA Bathroom available for those that require it.

Who would’ve thought you’d find peace and tranquility in the backstreets of Collingwood?!

SOS Bathhouse is now open! Follow them on Insta here and book here.

SOS Bathhouse
30-32 Easey Street
Collingwood, Melbourne

Sense of Self
Bathhouse hours:
Tuesday – Friday, 7am – 9pm.
Saturday – Sunday, 9am-7pm

Massage studio: 
Tuesday – Friday, 11am – 8pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm

 

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

This Brand New Home Looks Like A 100-Year-Old Greek Villa... In Northern NSW!

Using recycled timbers, salvaged windows and antique tiles, Anna and Andrew Swain have created an Australian beachside home with an authenti...

Interiors

A Sublime Darlinghurst Apartment With A Gallery Aesthetic

Taking inspiration from their client's passion for Japanese and Scandinavian design, as well as their unique collection of art and objects,

Studio Visit

The Dreamy New Retail Space Of A Professional Plant Charmer

Consider us charmed by Ryan Klewer’s (aka Plant Charmer) brand new headquarters in East Brunswick!
Sasha Gattermayr

This Week

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

Travel

Our Guide To The Perfect Road-Trip On The NSW Central Coast

From Terrigal and Avoca beaches to the lush landscape of Bouddi National Park, here's where to eat, sleep, visit + swim!
Sasha Gattermayr
  Less than an hour ago

News

A New Online Service That Designs Your Own Gallery Wall!

A new digital tool from Framefox allows you to build your own salon-style wall online, and have the final design delivered to your doorstep
Sponsored

Modernist Australia

A Modernist Mansion Fit For A 'Contemporary Goddess'!

Designed by architect Iwan Iwanoff in 1959, this incredible home in Mount Lawley, Western Australia is on the market.
Patricia Callan
  16 hours ago

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.
Lucy Feagins
  24 hours ago

Architecture

A Surprise Garden Brings This 'Pop-Up' Home To Life

Figr creates a unique language between architectural and landscaped spaces to truly maximise this small footprint home for a family of three...

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

Design Eye

Suzanne Gorman on Modernising a Mid-Century Home

Taking into account considerations of form, function and scale, interior designer Suzanne Gorman shares her design approach for mid century

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

Similar Stories

Homes

This Brand New Home Looks Like A 100-Year-Old Greek Villa... In Northern NSW!

An Australian beachside home with a Mediterranean feel, built using recycled timbers, salvaged windows and antique tiles.

Interiors

A Sublime Darlinghurst Apartment With A Gallery Aesthetic

Hecker Guthrie have created a light and bright sanctuary in this inner-Sydney apartment, located in an iconic building!

Studio Visit

The Dreamy New Retail Space Of A Professional Plant Charmer

Consider us charmed by Ryan Klewer’s (aka Plant Charmer) brand new headquarters in East Brunswick!
Sasha Gattermayr

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.