Compiled by Pari Syal
Photography: Courtesy the designers
A hi-profile chic salon needs to beat the popularity quotient, both – functionally as well as aesthetically; as brand value soars high on the design of commercial spaces. We unveil the engaging interiors of the flagship Ambika Pillai salon at Delhi’s South Extension...
Celebrity make-up artiste and hair-stylist Ambika Pillai’s flagship salon is a 7000 sq. ft. combination of ‘artisanal luxury and industrial chic’, much in line with the dynamics of her brand.
Individually varied and collectively orchestrated, through both - material and planar elements, the spatial sequence is choreographed to create a user experience that rests at the confluence of art, architecture and an industrial aesthetic. Crafted out of wood and steel, wool and mirror, the salon is a combination of mezzanine and double-height spaces purpose-built for specific salon treatments.
Alluding to an aesthetic that is more characteristic of industrial spaces and processes, we have here independent self-sustaining functional bands - for hair cutting, hair washing, skin and beauty treatments, along with areas for styling and make up - visually threaded through with intriguing industrial elements in a ‘happening’ ceiling replete with red air-conditioning ducts set against a receding exposed concrete roof, interspersed with the buildings sprinkler systems, and long linear white fluorescent lights that run consistently through the salon.
As with most industrial spaces, the detailing here too is minimal but purposeful. The deliberate act of articulating key constructional moments in the design infuses the space with a deep sense of artisanal luxury. Added to this is the illustrative exuberance of graphic work on glass partitions and an arresting thread installation by scenographer Sumant Jayakrishnan that flanks the perimeter of the salon.
With RLDA studio as an architecture and design firm that prides itself on “the umbilical relationship between place and project to influence a culturally situated work”, the client here stands steadfast in her constructive nod to the perception of popular culture by way of environmental consciousness and use of iconographic elements.