The underlying intention of the planning and organisation of the spaces was to diverge from the predictable hair salon typology which typically organises clients in a row facing a wall. It instead tries support the intimate and often extended experience.
The salon is situated in an area saturated with competitors and so the design is also concerned with creating a memorable space - to draw back clientele through a distinctive and allusive space. A key device in achieving this was to ensure the interior is not completely revealed to the street so that in order to experience the space one has to engage the services of the salon and perhaps stay for a haircut. This creates a sense of exclusivity and also privacy for the clientele.
The design solution was a confluence of many ideas. Cues and influences are taken from designers and artists such as Jeppe Hein, Ettore Sottsass and Emily Floyd.
There is an expressive play of form and scale using simple geometric forms arranged in a seemingly disorderly manner to create personal stations and functional zones.
The design is an intervention in an existing space with the main cutting area organised by a pair of structures that are t-section in plan. They are simply a juxtaposition of two geometries creating a three sided station, one of which forms the counter with a colourful play of bronze and anthracite reflective perspex. The mirrors at each station were intended to be a key design element - their bold geometries are reflected onto one another forming unique visual connections to the surrounding space. This arrangement made it possible to preserve the spatial fluidity of the open plan layout and also define specific areas.
Colour was carefully considered as colour reflection can easily lead to an inaccurate perception of hair colour. It also played a key role in defining the spaces and structure. The chromatic treatment of floors vs wall and furniture are guided by Sottsass' ideals that colour plays a constructive role in defining spaces, that it "can arise and be in harmony with the imperatives of structure, without destroying it."
Furniture was key in this scheme, it had to be sculptural, comfortable and in harmony with the colour scheme. The striking monochromatic houndstooth graphic on the Eumenes chairs by Paola Navone suitably fits this criteria and provides texture, pattern and play amongst the austere surrounds.
Time and budget were both major constraints on the project, so basic trades were deployed such as carpentry, painting and glazing. The existing ceiling was retained for budget purposes and a graphic approach was implemented by highlighting the existing grid of the commercial ceiling tile system.
The project is a testimony to the young client - a new business owner who placed trust and commitment in this unique design direction.