Honey, we grew the bar: Discover the future of sustainable hospitality design at The Mush Room

At the centre of HIX 2022, the Mush Room is our pop-up show bar where guests can catch up with connections and catch a breath between meetings.

Hosting a late-close Thursday party with DJs and complimentary drinks, as well as Friday afternoon’s Next Gen & Tonic midweight mixer, it’s the beating heart of HIX social, and has been designed by Belgian interiors and branding studio WeWantMore as the perfect place to meet, greet and rest your feet.

But wait, there’s more…

With the HIX community representing the hospitality design sector’s best and brightest, we knew that not just any old bar would do. To truly reflect the forward-thinking industry we bring together, and embody our ‘great things will grow’ theme, we needed something extraordinary, and that’s why, at the centre of the Mush Room, guests will discover a show bar with a difference; one we have literally grown for the occasion.

Constructed from mycelium – a root-like fungus structure composed of branching, intertwining roots – our central HIX bar has been cultivated by organic material artist Côme Di Meglio in collaboration with creative studio La Succulente, and simultaneously showcases the future of sustainable design and highlights the exciting potential of this emergent material.

Photograph: Côme Di Meglio

“Invisible to our eyes, mycelium plays an essential role in nature,” say Magali Avezou and François Maugin, co-founders of La Succulente. “The roots of mushrooms feed on dead material and turn it into fertile soils. Through symbiosis it connects trees in a vast network of mutual aid, allowing plants to exchange information and weave a vast underground system that serves multiple species.”

Transforming waste into an architectural structure, the Mush Room bar is responsible and sustainable design at its groundbreaking best, and for di Meglio represents the latest project in a line of myco-structures that connect spirituality and spatial experience with physical materiality.

“I believe mycelium has intrinsic sensory qualities that creates a virtuous resonance within our bodies,” di Meglio adds. “I have been working with this material for 4 years and have taken care to observe and give the mycelium the space it needs to express its incredible potential… Applying my research to the shape of a bar is the perfect embodiment of my practice: hospitality and conviviality. With this bar, the binding power of mycelium is expressed both physically and socially, through the human interactions it will nurture.”

Photograph: IGO Studio

“Inspired by this year’s ‘Great things will grow’ theme, we felt it would be nice if the bar could literally be grown for the event, creating a link to the show but also providing a great example of what one of these great things might be,” says Ruud Belmans, co-founder of WeWantMore. “The design of the mycelium bar draws inspiration from shapes and textures found in shells, and illustrates the infinite source of inspiration nature can provide both aesthetically and structurally… The overall shape of the mycelium bar has a sacral feel to it, almost like a tomb of some kind, telling us that it is time to bury our traditional way of thinking and reflect on new ideas when it comes to designing hospitality spaces.”

Beyond the bar, the space also features a fragrance. designed by EcoScent – creating a welcoming and inviting atmosphere through notes of sandalwood, bergamot and citrus – as well as fixtures and furnishings from our friends over at Ege Carpets, Muuto, Hoad & More, Elm London and Wisdom Audio. Evo Design handled fit-out duties and Antalis has provided wallcoverings. A huge thanks to everyone involved. We can’t wait to welcome you. 

Want to find out more? Discover the future of sustainable hospitality design at the Mush Room on 17 & 18 November; register for your free HIX ticket today.