Sabon Spa, Retail Store, Café, & Offices

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Project: Description

An 11,000 sq. ft. multi-level hospitality and retail project with spaces to accommodate a day spa, retail store, café, and regional offices for a luxury bath and body product manufacturer in the Ballston retail, restaurant, and business district of Arlington, VA.

About the Client:

Sabon is a manufacturer of luxury bath and body products. Using natural ingredients from the Dead Sea, various herbs and flowers are meticulously blended with fragrant oils and lye to inspire healing sensory experiences.  Sabon is guided by a clear commitment to both the community and planet.  All Sabon products and packaging are environmentally friendly. Sabon strives to stay true to their past while remaining conscious of our shared future.

Project Goals:

  • Provide a multi-functional space within the constraints of the existing building
  • Ensure the project design reflects Sabon’s identity, mission and values
  • Meet all applicable codes and guidelines in an environmentally conscious manner
  • Incorporate elements of both tradition and innovation that support flexibility for future changes in services and/or products

Design Brief:

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Research for Programming:

Research conducted to facilitate an understanding of the client's mission, products, and target market.  Methods of investigation included interviews, activity mapping, behavior mapping, and literature review of industry publications.  Findings were synthesized into a Research Presentation (pdf).  Based upon this information and an analysis of project requirements, a Programmatic Brief was developed.


Conceptual Design:

Design Problem - To provide a relaxing, sustainable refuge within the disruptive urban environment of the Ballston Community that reflects the values and traditions of the Sabon identity.

Concept Statement - “Evoking the three aspects of a traditional oasis well, namely, water, enclosure, and flora, create a place of tranquility and verdant escape within the urban setting”


Schematic Design:

Refinement of the design concept through sketching, exploration of spatial relationships (bubble and stacking diagrams), development of a signage concept, and initial palette and finish selections.


Design Development:

Finalization of the design concept through the development of scale drawings, preparation of presentation graphics, and specification of all FF&E.