Chicago, IL |  Approx. 16,000 SF
Inside original exposed masonry walls, through regal archways, and under heavy timber ceilings, Aire Chicago spa guests are transported much further into the past than the building’s original 1902 factory days. Intentionally selected for its contextual and historic elements and surroundings, the former nightclub space – which sits amid Chicago’s lofty River West district – is a time capsule to the ancient empires where a unique experience for the body and mind awaits.  

Restored from its original splendor, the distinctive building showcases existing architectural elements deemed worthy of delivering a journey through the traditions of the ancient baths of Roman, Greek and Ottoman cultures. Environments and conditions were preserved where possible and enhanced to refine the classic relaxation experience offered by Aire. Heavy timber floors and ceilings, and brick walls and archways were sprayed with clear coat finish to protect them from the naturally occurring humidity of the bathhouse.  Driven by very specific ambiance needs, aesthetic decisions were carefully curated to create an odyssey for the senses in the calm, cavern-like sanctuary.  Appeasing the client’s taste, warm light glows through antique lanterns and sconces, many of which are hand-perforated and among the specially imported items.

The age-old and holistic relaxation experiences at Aire are centered around water healing rituals. The spa consisting of hot, cold, salt water and body temperature baths each providing its own health benefits. The most prominent water feature in the spa is the dual-environment hot pool that opens to Chicago’s exterior urban surroundings, no matter the season. The outdoor portion features a custom waterfall that goes beyond aesthetics, functioning also as a relaxation hydro-massage.

Everything is intentional and systematically planned in this imperial design. Grandiose openness and stoic ceiling heights are grounded by a palette of rich red brick, warm wood, and soft lighting. The sense of luxurious relaxation is elevated by the faint yet detectable drifting aroma of orange blossoms. Aire Ancient Baths Chicago is a place where time does not exist, an escape that leaves all worries, and toxins, behind.  
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