Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects has combined smoked timber joinery, huge sheets of steel and raw concrete to create the brooding interiors of this men's spa and barbershop in Dubai.
The barbershop is situated in the Dubai Design District, a development populated by several galleries, fashion boutiques, and eateries.
It is the third Chaps & Co to open in the city, joining a branch in the Dubai Marina and another in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers. All three have been designed by London-based practice Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects, who were briefed by the brand to establish "stylish and welcoming havens for the modern gentleman".
The latest store features a dark colour scheme and a selection of raw materials, but has a floor space that is three times larger than it's predecessors.
In the middle of the space lies a lounge area that riffs off the appearance of private members clubs. It has a pair of black leather Chesterfield sofas, faux stag's head, and a cluster of bare light bulbs suspended from the ceiling.
Partition walls crafted from smoked oakwood have been divided up into a series of deeply inset shelves, intended to cast dramatic shadows and create an overall "sense of darkness and intrigue".
The lounge area is meant to serve as a central meeting point from which all other rooms can be accessed.
"This avoids the need for lobbies and corridors but also enhances the social vibrancy of the space," Nicholas Szczepaniak, director of the practice, told Dezeen.
The adjacent barber's area has been dressed with mahogany leather chairs and black ceramic sinks. Service stations are separated by tall glass boxes, inside of which are displayed rows of traditional cut-throat razors.
To create a more intimate and relaxed feel in the store's two massage rooms, the architect lined each ceiling with 287 amber massage oil bottles. These have then been backlit to emit a warm, "whisky-coloured" glow. A handful of ochre-tinted screens crafted from panels of fluted glass have also been erected to offer privacy to the four nail treatment stations.
The building's concrete base structure has been left exposed throughout, with steel used to clad the building's front elevation.
"The facade of the Dubai Design District shop should be perceived as a solid mass…it imbues a sense of permanence and masculinity," Szczepaniak added.
Earlier this year, Canada-based Ivy Studio created a minimalist barbershop in Montreal that featured white-painted walls, a green marble counter and a grid of tiny circular shelves. Wüsler Bechtel Architekten has also completed a male hair groomers in Zurich that's anchored by a pair of large, sculptural mirrors.
Photography is by Nicholas Worley.