The exposed corner-plot location of this old pharmacy, in an affluent Athens shopping district, inspired a re-working of the traditional hair salon. Glazing on two sides made the typical wall-facing format of salon seating restrictive. This unimpeded view shouted for an approach akin to stage design, offering an opportunity for a dramatic installation.
The 50m2 space is split between the main cutting floor (the stage) and a mezzanine space (back of house). The design adopts a trio of inward-facing seats, each paired with a large ceiling-hung mirror. Clustering the seats in this way provides a more communal, sociable salon experience, encouraging interaction between the stylists and customers.
From the ceiling hang 130 individual picture frames, fabricated from dark timber molding profiles. The frames range in size from 16 x 21cm to 73 x 86cm.
The frames are carefully hung from 1mm thick steel wires, each tilted to form a suspended landscape. They spread from the extremities of the salon, cascading downwards to meet three central customer mirrors. Whilst many of the frames are left empty, some are filled with mirrors - angled to provide that all-important ‘back of head’ view.
Simple lighting above the installation casts dramatic silhouettes on the space beneath, the shadows changing and distorting depending on the time of day and direction of the sun. Three spotlights above the seating area direct focus back onto the hair cutting experience, flooding light over the crown of the customer. This improves visibility for the stylist, and draws the client into the theatrical experience.
The 520 wires that hold the frame landscape, create a mist-like presence that hovers just below the ceiling. The wires gently sway in response to movement in the space and customers entering the salon.