Kevin Kahan Salon, Bangor Hairdressers, Irish Building

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Bangor Hairdressers, Northern Ireland

Kevin Kahan Salon, Northern Ireland – design by twenty two over seven

20 May 2010

Kevin Kahan Salon

99 High Street, Bangor
Northern Ireland (RSUA)

Design: twenty two over seven ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN, Belfast

Photos: Big Glass Eye

SUMMARY

A small project for the refurbishment and extension of a pre-existing mid-terrace building on a long and narrow site on the high street. The experienced and ambitious hairdresser client offered a demanding brief seeking to employ architecture as a primary tool for business development.

A dramatic new extension with repetitive north lights provides the primary salon space, with easy connections upwards and downwards to the ground and first floors original building, where other support functions are accommodated.

The robust material pallet for the interior provides a sense of gravitas, meeting the client’s strict requirement for an aesthetic derived from the potential of interior architecture, and contributing to an essential sense of calm and relaxation for its clients.

Kevin Kahan Salon Kevin Kahan Salon Kevin Kahan Salon

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT

The client brief provides for the ambitious development of its business activities through the complete refurbishment and extension of an existing 3-storey mid-terrace building on a long and narrow site. Originally designed as a dwelling house, and in common with its neighbours, the building has converted over time to commercial and retail activity. The client is the building owner, and has for some years conducted his hairdressing business on the secondary retail street in the seaside town of Bangor Co Down, some 15 miles from Belfast. Business activity in the town centre has suffered economic difficulties arising from decades of decanting to shopping centres scatted along the town’s ring road. Despite this, the client chose to develop his business within the town centre seeking to exploit the latent potential of the existing building and new construction.

The brief included a call for an entirely original workplace environment, disconnected from the immediate physical context, and familiar stereotypes. A ‘destination salon’ of exemplary quality to enhance clients’ self-image and to pursue a business culture connected to that of equivalents in cities such as Milan and Barcelona. The client sought the pursuit of architectural space serving both functional demands and aesthetic requirement. Natural light was to be fully exploited, and supported with a functional, flexible, and effective lighting system throughout the new and pre-existing building elements.

The primary salon space is located at intermediate level when approached from the original High Street entrance, and at upper ground level approached from the new north entrance. Within this new single volume designed to site constraints as a long, tall, and narrow space, glazed and ventilated north lights to factory pattern are employed.

The interior walls are lined with flush pointed facing brick, and the raised access floor system is finished with porcelaine stone tiles. Cutting, colouring, and styling stations line both sides of the narrow space with continuous parallel work surfaces clad with dark porcelaine mosaics supported and contained with wax treated black iron.

The form and material choices, together with repeating patterns of mirrors and surface mounted light fittings create an atmosphere of urban space, reinforced by the small ‘cafe’ facility adjacent to the stair flights leading down to the entrance level from the High Street, and up to the second and more compact salon space within the original building. A small entrance courtyard terminates the view looking north from the primary salon space, emphasised by the compression force of the small boiler plant room at first floor level, itself reached by a steel and stone stair, with glass risers for transparency.

Client access is facilitated by both south and north entrances. The entrance level from High Street accommodates retailing, reception functions, and on request, the full range of salon services for both able bodied and disabled persons alike, fully compliant with statutory requirements. Residual upper floor space within the original building accommodates beauty treatment rooms, staff facilities, and administrative functions.

The material pallet for the interiors includes brick, plaster, porcelaine, steel, glass, timber, and stone. Externally, painted render, painted timber, brick, stone, steel, glass, and lead. Treatment of the High Street elevation is thorough, but necessarily restrained taking account of the immediate environment.

Project budget approximately £475,000 inclusive of all fixtures and fittings.

Project term March 2007 to May 2008.

Kevin Kahan Salon, Northern Ireland images / information from twenty two over seven ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN


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