Sir Spa

The Grooming Club Lounge

Men's Locker Room

The building at 5151 N. Clark - before construction

Sir Spa - a great new addition to Andersonville's streetscape!

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5151 N. Clark Street, Chicago

Project Statistics

Gut renovation of a 5,000 s.f. two-story retail building into a men's day spa.

Existing Conditions

The existing building had been half-remodeled and then abandoned by the previous tenants. The classic white and green glazed brick facade needed tuckpointing and repair and the window openings had been filled in with glass block that had since fallen into disrepair.

Design Challenge

The owners' program had very strict spatial and circulation requirements. They needed six treatments rooms, a manicure/pedicure area, a locker room, a relaxation lounge, an entry lobby, room for their burgeoning mail order business, staff areas, a doctor's office, and all auxiliary spaces in the narrow, compact commercial space typical of Chicago properties. Circulation requirements were quite specific and demanded observation of the public/private delineations between spaces that a spa experience dictates. The design aesthetic also specifically needed to cater to a male clientele.

Design Solution

The design makes creative use of the available space and pays close attention to the experiential layout of the different areas of the spa. The locker room is deliberately located to act as a buffer between the more public lobby and manicure/pedicure room and the more sedate relaxation lounge and treatment rooms. The aesthetic everywhere is comfortable, crisp, and clean. From entry to exit, clients enjoy a professional, rejuvenating environment that enhances their experience.

Sir Spa, a day spa for men, is located at 5151 N. Clark Street, in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood.  With its restored facade of crisp white and green glazed brick and white awnings, the spa has quickly become a bright, welcome addition to the new "SOFO" (South of Foster) neighborhood.

Our design team faced several hurdles in creating the space.  The two-story home of Sir Spa had been vacant for some time when the owners signed their lease and commissioned us to design their facilities.  Previous tenants had already attempted to renovate the space, but then lost their funding mid-stride, so the building structure needed serious alterations.  Programmatic requirements dictated that we squeeze uses into every possible space while maintaining an open, sophisticated feel.  We had to accommodate code-required clearances and an elevator for accessibility.  And the owners wanted a clean, masculine aesthetic that would make their clientele comfortable in a spa setting.

After working around the necessary code requirements, we got to designing the space to achieve the owners' objectives.  Huge storefront windows replace the ugly glass block that had been there, establishing a street presence for the spa with its open and welcoming entry.  Generously lit, and highlighted with three large, beautiful pendant fixtures the owner found, the lobby draws people in and gives them a feeling for the experience waiting for them inside.

Although not necessarily evident to the casual observer, every inch of space in the spa was used, sometimes quite creatively.  For example, the steam room in the men's locker room is nestled comfortably under the landing of one of the exit stairs.  Great care was taken to lay out the circulation patterns of the spa to provide clear distinctions and sensible transitions between the entry, the locker room, the more public manicure/pedicure room and the more private massage and treatment areas of the space.  The relaxation lounge provides a serene space to enjoy some down time between treatments, and the men's locker room is tastefully appointed to provide all the ammenities one would expect from a high-end spa, but selected with a man's sensibilities in mind.  The overall design, paired with the owners' great taste and an eye for detail and superior service, has received rave reviews (check out City Search) and made a visit to Sir Spa something to put on every guy's to-do list.  For more information, check them out at!