Eurostar recently reopened its new-look Brussels Business Premier Lounge following an extensive refurbishment carried out in the latest phase of its wide-ranging programme of station improvements to enhance passenger experience.
The recently completed new-look lounge has a sleek and elegant design to create a light and airy ambience with areas to work, catch up with colleagues or to simply relax and unwind.
Main contractors for the refurbishment scheme were Benbow Group.
Open to Business Premier passengers and Eurostar Frequent Traveller carte blanche holders, the lounge incorporates a host of impressive new features.
Ross Hopcraft, Creative director of branding and design agency Bisqit, who carried out the interior design for the scheme said:
“The project was geared to improving the customer experience of business travellers and meeting their needs in today’s market.
“Eurostar had a re-branding around three years ago in which their brand values changed slightly and Brussels Business Premier Lounge was the first project geared to realise this. The project was therefore was more than a straightforward commercial interiors refurbishment – it also had a great deal of brand value.
“We needed to improve all of the customer facilities including increasing the number of seats and making visitor traffic flow much easier, whilst also making the relatively small available space feel as large as possible – which was quite a challenge.
“The general feel of the space needed to be improved significantly. We achieved this by removing any visual barriers so that the service offer was completely visible upon entering. Although the lounge is within a windowless basement, we were able to further increase the feeling of spaciousness by glazing the whole perimeter with backlit etched glass using an LED lighting system cleverly designed to change its colour balance in the same way that the light outside would change according to the time of day or evening. We also installed video screens set behind the glazing and showing a balance of material including Eurostar brand content and news and features, without being intrusive.
“Eurostar has a very fluid form logo and we used that to create a big entrance feature which integrated a reception desk which visually ‘sweeps’ visitors into the interior.
“We also greatly improved the food and drink service offer and re-designed and refurbished the toilets.
“Lighting was also a key feature – not only around the perimeter but in the main space where we formed highly controlled ceiling lighting zones, as well as adding tables and side lamps at each seat to create a more cosy atmosphere.
“This was a hugely important high profile project for us. Eurostar are a wonderful company to work for and it’s always nice to work in the travel transportation sector. As a brand identity/ brand creation company and interior designers, we had the ability to understand branding and brand guidelines and turn these into three dimensional forms.”
Nick Mercer, Eurostar Commercial Director, said:
“We are committed to improving our customers’ business experience with a seamless journey on both our core and connecting routes, and the new Brussels business lounge is a key part of this.”
The refurbishment of the Brussels Business Premier lounge is the latest in a series of improvements underway across Eurostar’s terminals. The brand new ticket office area at St. Pancras International was completed in July 2014, and work is underway at Lille Europe station where capacity is being increased in response to higher demand from passengers using the station to connect by high-speed rail across France.
Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways). On 1st September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.
The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994, carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300 kph. Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 145 million passengers between London and the Continent.
Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet.
Eurostar is a member of Railteam, an alliance of the main high-speed train operators in Europe.