Oh good, three of my favourite things under one roof. A hairdresser (gross invasion of personal space), a launderette (up there with crack-den squats as places to spend time) and a ‘meeting place’. At 36 I have already met all the people I want to meet. Meeting people is exhausting. Sometimes I lie awake in a cold sweat over how many more people I am going to have to meet in my life. A horrifying contemplation.
Still, the brains behind Wasbar in Ghent probably aren’t targeting misanthropic middle-aged males with shaved heads, it’s aimed more at students, and personal revulsion aside, objective scrutiny reveals this place to be an unusual and nicely-realised concept. Belgian design studio Pinkeye (yes, I know) did the business here, lining up the washers and dryer in two separate rows with the pipes and wiring hidden in the cellar creating an atypically pleasant environment. Incidentally, the washers have the names of grandmas above them, and the dryers grandpa names, which is a lot sweeter than numbers.
There’s a few dinky little tables at which to have a brew or a beer while the clothes do the rounds, and nice vintage irons with which to clobber irritating bastards press your laundry. ‘Cosy and convivial’ is the impression Wasbar was aiming at, and I have to say it’s achieved that very well.