Located on New York City's Upper East Side, Aida Salon hired Archi-Tectonics to design a new modern hair salon. The existing 2000 SF. ground- floor space was to be redesigned to attract a new, expanded clientele--young and fashionable. The program for the salon included hair cutting stations, hairwash stations, a wardrobe, a pantry, and dressing rooms. Archi-Tectonics proposed a re-conceptualization of the traditional hair salon--an innovative space that would intrigue clients. This revised conception of the hair salon was translated into a physical space by the introduction of a smooth wrapper, a smart wall system integrating innovative lighting, heating and cooling systems, sound systems, and storage--all resulting in a spatial modulation and inflection of the wall’s surfaces. This smooth wrapper re-configures the space into a sculpted void, a new space for a new clientele.
The smooth wrapper starts at the facade in folded surfaces of bluestone with delicately mitered edges. This durable stone surface wraps around large planes of glass with Aida’s logo sandblasted on its surface. One of the glass planes, a frameless glass door, fluidly guides the clients inside. The façade operates as an urban interface, collapsing the public and private spaces, Urbach describes the facade as an "intermediary layer between city and interior--a transparent and volumetric interface rather than a divisive planar cut." As the walls fold inside, their material changes; simple white surfaces create the programmatic modulations of the wall, accentuated by different ‘light scapes’. The cutting stations fold out as a continuous surface with frosted white plexiglass extensions above which floating mirrors are suspended in backlit niches.
The dynamic modulations of the space enact their own drama; within the sculpted void, integrated light sources and mirror surfaces play with vision lines and angles, reflecting and superimposing images and spatial folds. "Abstract and skeletal, Dubbeldam's folds imbue this salon with an unmistakable elegance and sophistication while maintaining an equal measure of tectonic clarity, aesthetic economy, and purpose," writes Henry Urbach of Interior Design (February 2001). The smooth white surfaces extend into an enclosed green courtyard where clients can relax on the custom-designed cedar benches, enveloped by planters with a mix of bamboo and grass species.
Client: Aida Salon
Project Type: Hair salon, facade and garden design
Location: Upper East Side, NYC
Area: 2000 sf // 185 m2
Status: Completed 2000
Principal in charge: Winka Dubbeldam
Archi-Tectonics Team: Ty Tikari, Nicola Bauman, Patricia Herniaz-Driever, Lissa Desbarattes
Mechanical Engineer: Stan Slutsky Engineers
Expeditor: Michael Zenreich
General Contractor: A.J. Greenwich Contracting