Say No Mo is a conceptually new format for a salon. Designed by balbek bureau, a traditional perceptions of a beauty salon – and its gender distinctions – are erased. For example, at the heart of the design is a bar used for both beauty services and traditional cocktail receptions.
Located within an old building in Kyiv, the salon has a total floor area of 200 square meters over two levels. The ground level features several zones: reception, lounge, manicure/bar and pedicure, with the basement level containing makeup zone, hair care cosmetology restrooms and facilities. With a curved-wall geometry and without a single parallel wall, the space also boasts 4-meter high ceilings.
One of the main visual accents of the salon is located in the reception area and features an eye catching cast-in-situ concrete ‘broken’ arch, which serves as a metaphor for broken stereotypes in the beauty industry. Made of poured concrete, it weights several hundred kilograms and took more than 4 months in a multi-phased process to complete.
A reception counter also made of cast-in-situ concrete resembles a stone block. However, the monolithic look does not impede upon its functionality as a desktop and plug-in connection spots ensure a fully functional workspace.
The reception zone also has a lounge area with furniture groups and a fireplace that serves not only as waiting area but also as a place to socialize during cocktail parties.
Throughout, ‘golden’ coloured panels give a distinctive look and are used as bar shelves and partitions, as well as to clad and mask the unevenness of the original walls. The panels are made of polished stainless steel (0.5 mm thick) with a titanium nitride coating. The bar counts is made with a plated black metal with welding seams left intentionally visible.
The pedicure zone is arranged with podiums that define the seating arrangement. Free-standing washbasin are made from two Soviet-era baby bathtubs. The architects chose for light tones with contrasting gold accents.