Lighting is concealed behind a stretched-latex ceiling.
Photographs by Mikiko Kikuyama.
Here's some more information from Avi Oster:
Cristiano Cora, New York NY, Avi Oster
Our goal was to create a new essence of salon environment that captures the balance between modern architecture and the needs of the hair dressing industry. The fluid movement of the Cristiano salon truly captures the elements of simple modern design while the functionality of the design enables a smoother process of hair dressing.
Translating an idea comprises most of my research. My interest is in finding some new essence or concept within a project, and in using Minimalism as a tool to express this concept. I like the challenge of finding a clever solution to the minimal expression of a potentially large idea.
The vision for this project evolved gradually. Our aim was to create a space that would be distinctly appealing to women; something slightly curved, clean, and stylish, but at the same time comforting and transformational. I began to think about the concept of a shell or cave, or some very basic protective and comforting form that folds around a being, and this motif found its way into the design of the space.
We tried to keep everything clean and to eliminate as much information or distraction besides the experience of the client and the stylist. For instance, there is a separate wet and dry room for laundry services which is kept discreet by a hidden door. We also designed the floor to curve upwards to enable easy sweeping of the hair to the vacuum system's nozzles at the edge of the floor.
The experience of the client is one of transformation. At Cristiano, the simplicity of the design encourages the client's focus to be on the inspiring experience of becoming transformed. In this salon, I wanted to create the sensation for a woman to enter a protected space and emerge transformed; purified, indulged, comforted, and relaxed.
The most unique material we used in this project was the Newmat Light Stretch Ceiling. Developed in France and made from latex, it provides a stretch ceiling that you can use to cover large spaces and create a kind of skin. We also sourced hairdressing industry fixtures from the Maletti Group and Ross Lovegrove, the vacuum system from Imperium, hardware from Valli & Valli, and bathroom fixtures from Duravit.
The floor space is 400 square meters. The project was completed in February 2008, with the total cost coming in at $280,000.