The primary obstacle encountered in the hair salon project located in Beijing was the challenge of designing for the flagpole-shaped site. The entrance to the salon is characterized by its notably diminutive dimensions, and access to the hair cutting area requires traversing a lengthy corridor. Given the inaccessibility of the cutting area from outside the salon, it was imperative to create an entryway and corridor that would be both inviting and visually compelling. In light of the profound sense of mental exhaustion experienced by many during these tumultuous times marked by the pandemic, the design of the salon aimed to not only create a luxurious and radiant space but also a cozy and comfortable environment. As such, the floors and walls were carefully adorned with warm-toned natural stones and woods such as travertine and limestone.
Location: Beijing, China
Building Area: 173sqm
Photos: Jin Weiqi / 123 architects
In order to foster a sense of continuity with the surrounding public space, the entryway has been designed to maximize its dimensions, with the aim of avoiding the creation of any boundary surfaces such as glass or walls during business hours. By subsuming the entrance within the public space, it is intended to reinforce the salon's status as a shared gathering place, rather than a purely commercial enterprise. Additionally, a lengthy bench has been incorporated into the space, inviting customers to relax and enjoy a coffee whilst conversing with their stylist, in a manner reminiscent of a café terrace.
In the corridor, which primarily serves a utilitarian function, wooden box-like panels integrated with lighting are installed on the walls, with their angles randomized to evoke the sensation of a gentle breeze blowing through the entrance. This design feature creates a sense of movement within the space that beckons individuals into the salon, rather than simply serving as a mundane passageway.
Moreover, by angling the walls, a small horizontal surface is created, offering an organic display area for products rather than a static, unadorned wall. At the end of the lengthy corridor, an L-shaped bench provides comfortable seating, reminiscent of a cozy café.
Our objective was to create a tranquil atmosphere in the hair cutting area, utilizing a plethora of natural materials such as wood and stone, while strategically implementing various forms of indirect lighting. The placement of the central mirror was carefully considered to avoid a cumbersome presence in the space, with particular attention given to the angle of installation to minimize feelings of confinement. Moreover, the seating area along the wall was designed to be distinct, in order to prevent a sense of uniformity within the overall space.
The VIP room, which accommodates two seats, features an original sofa made of travertine, designed to provide a tranquil and comfortable setting for clients to relax in, apart from their hair cutting experience. A small area is provided behind the mirror-supporting column, with lighting fixtures installed in a manner that delivers functional and gentle illumination to the client's face.