33 Church Street

Cambridge, MA


Janet Cahaly


Renovation and addition to second floor salon and spa, and renovation and fitout of ground floor ice cream shop including signage design for both tenants.


PCA’s work at 33 Church Street involved a delicate balance between an owner’s desire to expand her business and a city’s goal to retain its historic context.

The Carriage House Salon and Spa is aptly named due to its location in the historic Carriage House along Church Street in Harvard Square. The building retains a faint image of the original carriage manufacturer’s sign on the front facade, which along with other features led to close scrutiny by the historic commission during both design and construction.


The addition was made to the right side of the building over the existing retail tenant below. It was held back from the front face in order to retain the original massing of the existing building. In early plans an addition was planned for the left side as well, however the historic commission felt this would detract from the original building, so an open deck was created on the left side for exterior seating in warmer months.

The salon interior was completely renovated and the spa services relocated to the new addition. The resulting space is warm and inviting with hardwood floors, exposed brick walls and comfortable furnishings. The goal was to make customers feel at home and relaxed for their salon and spa treatments. This is aided by the open deck areas with seating for patrons to relax.

In addition to the upper floor renovation the ground floor tenant area facade was renovated and fit out with a fresh new ice cream shop. The interior and signage were designed to be playful and inviting in what is a very narrow tenant space.