Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects | Architecture and Design London

Chaps & Co D3

A contemporary interior design and full architecture fit out, graphic and branding strategy for flagship Chaps & Co Barbershop and Spa at the Dubai Design District, D3, UAE. The space includes a lounge area, barber hall, massage rooms and manicure and pedicure.

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Chaps & Co, d3

Location : Dubai Design District , Dubai, UAE

Scope : Full design service including Concept Design, Detailed Design, Construction Assistance, Identity and Branding Design.

Project Type : Barbershop and Spa

Size : 300 sqm

Status : Completed 2017


Located in the exciting Dubai Design District, Chaps and Co D3 is the third store we have designed and completed for the Chaps and Co brand. The 300 square metre flagship store officially opened in September 2017. The store continues to build upon and refine the design language and identity developed by our practice for the JLT and Marina stores completed in 2015 and 2016. 

Their brief was to create a stylish and welcoming haven for the modern gentlemen that is less sterile than the alternative unisex salons offered in Dubai. As well as offering traditional barbering services, the shop offers spa treatments and a lounge area where men can relax, hang out and be served hot and cold drinks. The interior architecture at Chaps & Co is seen as a reflection and embellishment of the core values of the Chaps & Co brand. 

Inspired by the traditional English barbershop, the store is designed to embrace a contemporary aesthetic. Bespoke joinery fabricated from smoked oak wraps all the internal surfaces of the shop to create an immersive experience. The joinery is gridded, and has a thickness of 350mm to create a gradation of shadows across its height whilst stainless steel beads are integrated to capture blades of light. Gaps in between the barber station joinery units allow natural light to filter across a veil of cut throat razors. Integral to the joinery are striking stainless steel strip details which capture light. This creates a stimulating and ephemeral atmosphere whilst reflecting the high level of craftsmanship and precision of the Chaps & Co barbers working within.

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Externally, the facade is perceived as a solid mass. Clad in Grade 275 sheet steel the facade imbues raw masculinity and a sense of permanence. The reception space continues this design language established for the facade to create a dark monolithic steel tunnel. A single light source and coffer soffit creates dramatic shadows and enhances the depth and blackness within the space.

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The store is three times as large as its predecessors meaning that the operations and sequencing of spaces is a critical aspect of the design to ensure a smooth customer experience. The layout is inspired by the Savile Club in London where a central lounge forms a navigation space where all other rooms can be accessed from. This avoids the need for lobbies and corridors but also enhances the social atmosphere of the space. 

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Separating the primary spaces are tobacco coloured translucent screens formed from tinted fluted glass. These provide privacy between rooms whilst creating a visual connection and dynamic perception of depth.

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The brief for the massage room was to create a masculine space that was also relaxing and tranquil in atmosphere. 287 amber massage oil bottles are backlit and suspended within a ceiling grid to create a whisky coloured light that is soft, immersive and refracts an ethereal pattern of light around the perimeter walls of the space. The concrete superstructure of the building is left raw and forms the interior finishes of the space.

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