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RareSweets, located in Washington’s CityCenterDC, was designed by architecture/design firm CORE. CORE worked with pastry chef and founder Meredith Tomason to create a fresh, contemporary bakery that serves heritage-recipe-inspired cakes, pies and ice creams. RareSweets is 1,212 SF and located at 963 Palmer Alley in the heart of the new CityCenterDC development. CORE’s RareSweets design was inspired by antique pie chests, bake ware, and a collection of heritage cookbooks Chef Tomason inherited but like her culinary creations, she wanted to make sure that the design reinterpreted traditional bakery notions with a modern angle.


RareSweets customers will notice a motif repeated throughout the space that was inspired by designs on antique cookbook covers. A back-lit perforated wood apron – a punched pie tin creatively re-envisioned – wraps around the ceiling of the space. Larger, horizontally-stacked grey subway tiles clad the walls instead of traditional white subway tiles. Supersized hexagonal floor tiles replace the traditionally small-tile treatment. Linear butcher block and mink marble countertops were used as an alternative to the expected Carrera marble. And glass cake domes become light fixtures.


As RareSweets customers queue in front of the icing station and playful wall of icing tools, they will appreciate the crisp and light design palette that mixes white, grey and honey-stained pine and ash tones with the bakery’s bright-yellow brand color. And if the delicious smells of freshly baked goods don’t draw CityCenterDC visitors into RareSweets, the daily specials being displayed in the front window surely will.

Design: CORE
Photography: Greg Powers

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