milk + honey has made a name for itself as one of the premier day spas in Austin, providing high quality spa and salon services in a warm, modern environment. For its flagship location, milk + honey approached Baldridge Architects to develop the unfinished ground floor of Austin’s downtown Silicon Labs building into a model that would bring together salon, spa and corporate offices under one roof. The design language of the flagship needed to simultaneously acknowledge the existing locations while tweaking and extending its brand identity beyond its Austin, Texas roots. Given that milk + honey’s success is partially due to the silent provision of high quality service, it was critical to reach an understanding of the inner workings of the spa prior to designing. This invisible nerve center facilitates the illusion of effortless intimacy and calm to the individual treatment rooms, lounges, and bathing areas, while hiding the back of house bustle.
The new location places milk + honey at the heart of downtown Austin, immediately adjacent to City Hall and Lady Bird Lake. Public retail and salon spaces wrap the exterior of the building, engaging the public streets and protecting the interior core from noise and sunlight. Responding to the challenging grades of site, the interior steps downward creating a series of thresholds that enhance the sense of transition from the urban street to the refuge of the spa.