The hair salon is situated in the 'Golden Hall' shopping centre in Marousi, Athens, next to the Olympic Stadium. The mall is located in the former IBC, the International Broadcast Centre of the 2004 Olympic Games, which was completely refurbished in 2008 as a shopping area that focuses on more exclusive brand, mainly for clothing. The owner and well established hairdresser Georgios Doudessis, with his strong opinion on design and architecture, asked the architects, gfra architecture, to design a unique space that could meet his expectations.
The deep and high space of the shop has a relatively small elevation, therefore the common relationship of a shop front between the inside and the outside space was rejected over completely opening the façade to welcome customers, while using the side walls to exhibit the articles usually expected in the shop front.
The space is divided vertically into two areas. On the ground floor the welcome - and service desk is located parallel to the linearly positioned hair-dressing tables. The mezzanine is used for more private functions such as manicure, pedicure and the massage area.
The overall space is designed combining two elements: the existing shell, with an industrial character, referring to the construction phase, and the new shell, using free forms and more refined materials to address the function of the shop.
Therefore the materials and colours chosen to support this concept are concrete-like cement plaster on the walls, industrial cement flooring and visible metal structures for the new walls made of gypsum board and unpainted sheet metal for the service and bar desk. The minimal stair, with triangular visible metal steps leads to the metal mezzanine construction. The floor of the mezzanine is also covered with untreated metal sheets.
The rough industrial character of these materials is contrasted by a choice of more refined materials suitable for a hairdressing environment. Thus parts of the walls and ceilings were covered with vinyl wallpaper, the service desks and the sinks were shaped out of corian, and completed with a wide use of mirrors, both for functional and decorative reason.
The ceiling is treated in similar ways as the overall space, with metal construction elements being visible above the false ceiling parts.
The lighting solution supports the division of the 'industrial' and 'decorative' shell. Wherever the construction is visible floodlights are used, in contrast to the finished vinyl parts where linear lights are inserted in the gypsum construction. The two shells never meet directly, but are always emphasized by a hidden light source between them.