Cloud Rift is a hair salon situated in the basement of an office tower in Guomao — an area of Beijing’s central business district. The underground location has no connection to the outside and is interrupted by large structural pillars, making the already small space feel more confined. In combatting this sense of a closed-in artificial and inorganic environment, the design has been conceived to express a feeling of lightness and openness.
As its namesake reveals, the ceiling is designed as a giant cloud, punctuated by organic openings that allow light to break through. Illuminating the space from above they give a feeling of loftiness, creating the illusion that the salon is larger than it is. In contrast to the sculptural ceiling and mirrors, the straight floors and walls delineate the space. Their placement takes into consideration efficiency of circulation, as well as storage, while providing as many seats as possible within a limited area.
Despite its subterranean and restricted setting, Cloud Rift creates an atmosphere where patrons feel unaffected by the salon’s location — an unassuming and inviting space that opens up towards the sky.
Location: Beijing, China
Building Area: 129sqm