AIDA Salon

"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 in Interior Design (February 2001).

Aida hired Archi-Tectonics to design a new modern salon for her on New York City's Upper East Side.  The existing  2000sf groundfloor space was to be designed to attract a new, expanded clientele.  The program for the salon included hair cutting, massage rooms, a wardrobe, a pantry, and dressing rooms. Archi-Tectonics proposed a re-conceptualization of the traditional hair salon--an innovative space that folds its smart surfaces to envelop the clients.  This revised conception of the hair salon was introduced through the creation of a smooth wrapper, a smart wall system, integrating 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 folded surface starts at the facade in bluestone facets with delicately mitered edges. This durable stone surface wraps around the large planes of glass with Aida’s logo sandblasted in its surface. The frameless glass door guides the clients inside. The façade operates as an urban interface, collapsing the public and private spaces. Henry 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.   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.  

INFO

Client: Aida Salon

Project Type:  Hair salon, facade and garden design

Location: Upper East Side, NYC

Area: 2000 sf // 185 m2

Status: Completed 2000

Design: Archi-Tectonics

Principal in charge: Winka Dubbeldam

Archi-Tectonics Team: Ty Tikari, Nicola Bauman, Patricia Herniaz-Driever, Lissa Desbarattes

Consultants:

Mechanical Engineer: Stan Slutsky Engineers

Expeditor: Michael Zenreich

General Contractor:  A.J. Greenwich Contracting

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