Architects: ROW Studio – Álvaro Hernández Félix, Nadia Hernández Félix, Alfonso Maldonado Ochoa
Location: Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico
Client: Wax Revolution
Design Team: Midori Calvo, Francisco Mota, José Manuel Garín
Built Area: 1,399 sq. ft. (130 Sq. Mts.)
Completition: May 2012
Photographs: Sófocles Hernández
Wax Revolution, a new epilation chain based in Mexico, hired us for the design of their second branch in the upscale neighborhood of Polanco in Mexico City. With the goal of setting a new standard on what they regard as artistry in hair removal, they sought for designed spaces for their boutique salons that would be as unique as their services.
Located in a semi basement of what used to be part of the parking of a refurbished building from the 50s the site was a narrow, dark, humid and terribly neglected space that was almost completely concealed from the public eye, but given its location in one of the main avenues of the neighborhood it represented a unique opportunity in terms of potential clients.
The first challenge was to give notoriety to an otherwise invisible space, for this we proposed a faceted structure made from a sequence of black steel frames descending from the street to the salon in a similar fashion to a subway entrance thus making the site evident to the enormous traffic of people strolling and driving by. The brand sign is fixed from the uppermost frame with its two lateral faces tilted to a 45° angle to allow maximum visibility of the logo to the passersby.
At the entrance of the site a long and narrow corridor was converted into the reception of the salon. Using the front desk, with its faceted faces that flow from the main door towards the end of the hall, as the main feature element of the room the perspective is elongated and distorted giving it a most needed sense of spatiality. The extremely low height of the ceiling is altered by the use of mirrors and the color black, which makes one lose reference to the actual dimensions of the room.
A series of shelves are used to display the various products sold at Wax Revolution which include brands such as Mallin + Goetz, Baxter of California, Snowberry, Uslu Airlines and Rubis Switzerland which become a visual focus point when waiting for an appointment.
The back wall serves as a chalkboard where the specials and packages are displayed and a sliding door directs the visitor to the corridor that leads to the individual service cabins. Each cabin is assigned and identified by a color which can be located by following the corresponding lines on the epoxy resin floor. The lights are fixed to the wall as a continuous strip with 45° and 90° angles as a way to liberate height from the low ceiling of the space.
A small open blue cabin located at the end of the corridor is used as a brow bar with an adjustable barber’s chair. Located on the opposite side are the client’s restroom and shower with yellow and blue glass tiles along with the staff bathroom.
When turning right following the corridor after the brow bar the three main cabins are revealed for the first time. Formed as faceted volumes that expand the visuals of the corridors they are covered with colored mirrors that multiply the views, colors and lights to infinity in a mesmerizing effect. These mirrors are colored with the same tint used to color spheres, but given the fragility of that tint it is covered with a custom made coating that was researched and developed specifically for this project by Sylpyl Industries giving it the necessary resistance for easy maintenance.
The area of the green and yellow cabins gains noticeable height in comparison to the rest of the site and this sense of height is perceptually continued to the pink cabin, which is located in the lower part, by the continuity of the faceted volumes.
A light bulb in the exterior of each cabin, which is connected to the light in the interior, indicates if they are in use. Inside the cabins all the operational furniture is colored white while the fixed elements are integrated in the same color as the cabins. The floor is covered with natural linoleum to provide the best levels of hygiene and durability.
The colored cabins and their varying geometry guarantee a unique experience for the clientele with each visit to the salon.