kilico. hair salon by Makoto Yamaguchi


Japanese architect Makoto Yamaguchi has created a hair salon in the basement of a Tokyo building, showcasing the patchwork of alterations made by previous occupants of the space.

Called kilico., the project involved patching the floor to make it flat and coating the various textures of the walls with white paint.

White furniture, lighting and mirrors were then added.

Photographs are by Ken'ichi Suzuki.

Here's some more information from the architect:


Located in Daikanyama, one of Tokyo's trendiest areas, 'kilico.' is a hair salon housed in an attractive space in the basement of a commercial building with a skylight built in 1983 that has seen many prior tenants.

When we first went to view the site, it was in an extremely stripped-down state.

Even though the interior layout had basically remained the same, there were many traces left behind by previous occupants on the floor and walls - a flat mortar wall next to an unfinished concrete block wall, and a whole host of dents and depressions of various sizes in the coarse concrete floor.

We decided to leave these textural details intact and incorporate them into the design for the new salon, so we painted the walls over in white and filled the depressions of various sizes with mortar.

Looking at the white wall that extends downwards from the ceiling until the floor, for example, you can see an entire gradient of different textures.

The surface of a concrete block gradually changes into a surface riddled with holes that probably appeared when it was dismantled, which then segues into a panel with a completely flat and even finish, ending up as a fairly flat surface at the very bottom.

After we had filled the depressions in the floor with mortar in order to make it flat, a map-like pattern emerged - what we call a "time map".

The design of 'kilico.' is based on these vestiges of past "time" - traces of previous incarnations of this building that have been given a new lease of life.

Click for larger image

See also:


Lodge by
Suppose Design Office
Bastogne by
adn Architectures
Boa Hairdressers Salon by Claudia Meier

Posted on Wednesday June 2nd 2010 at 2:58 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • bernard

    So white is now the default setting for Japanese architecture and interior design….

  • mvb

    I like the aesthetic of keeping visible the concrete structure on the ceiling. It is a good way to save money in interior design and also stimulates the value of the existing building without adding unnecesary elements. The result is a very bright, clean and aseptic project, but also too cold.

    If I was there, I would feel like a victim of a SAW film. lol. Anyway, I love it!

  • S

    Looks successful in that it creates a coherent and eye-catching atmosphere with (I assume) a ridiculously minimal budget.

  • jordan

    It looks scary when it is empty. I am sure it will look more friendly with people and colorful hair styling products.

  • wordy

    and good for them, white is magnanimous ‘colour’ and looks great with birght wood.

    like it! i want to cut my hair here!

  • j

    its a bit bleak no?

  • jay

    looks good, nice and clean. wouldn’t mind getting my hair cut here.

  • luna

    i guess Japanese accept concrete in the building more than Americans.
    you can not really see exposed concrete here, which always are covered by brick tile or sth else.

  • Megan

    Looks scary, bit like a gas chamber.
    I like the fact they painted over all the different surfaces but it makes me chaustrophobic just looking at it.

  • A

    Being “bleak” or “scary” could be a problem if it’s your living room. Getting your hair cut, on the other hand, can be an interestingly complex experience of of both meditativeness and unease. A bit of emotional stimulation goes very with it. Would love to see the haunting contrast between the clinical white color scheme and the black hair on the floor.

  • klejdi eski

    oh come on !…
    Some bloodstains on the walls are the only thing missing !

    Do the japanese kill with hair scissors ?

  • I am missing the personality part. That one red wall or the softer textures that make it more enticing. It doesn’t look “finished”. Not even a shelf and drawer under the mirror to make it actually functional. This makes me want to paint my entire basement a warmer white with a white chenille shag rug and white sheers draped between the piers and the lovely chandelier to finish it off.

  • Martin

    I love the look but it’s designed more as an art installation rather than a hair salon. Where are the hair dryers? where do the hairdressers put their sciccors, razorblades and watersprayers? I always respect architects who can bring the right balance between desired image and practicallity. But I favor an uncomproming approach so Props to mr. Yamaguchi!

  • Very intersting design. I like it but somehow it still looks unfinished is it still a work in progress

  • James Gill

    I like this design and concept. The raw minimalist aesthetic is almost ethereal, calming and clean.