Say No Mo | balbek bureau

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Release Time: July 23, 2020
PROJECT CREDITS

Architects: Slava Balbek, Sofiia Hupalovska, Nataliya Stukonog

Project manager: Natalia Kozak

Project Area: 200 sq.m

Project Year: 2020

Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Photo credits: Yevhenii Avramenko

UkraineKyiv

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© Yevhenii Avramenko

ABOUT

Say No Mo is a conceptually new format of a beauty salon. The ‘heart’ of the salon is a bar used for both beauty services and traditional cocktail receptions. The main task faced by balbek bureau from the very start of the design process was to break away from a traditional perception of a conventional beauty salon, and its gender distinction.

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

CONCEPT

The owner of the establishment is Canadian. In her years of working in the beauty industry, she has learned how to make a client happy. This understanding became the basis of the interior solutions delivered by balbek bureau.

© Yevhenii Avramenko

To get on the same mental wave with the client is perhaps the most important aspect while working on a project. Our architectural team managed to do just that. That is why the proposed concept took off instantaneously: first, in the hearts and minds, and half a year later - materializing on 36 Shota Rustavely Street in Kyiv.

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

FUNCTIONALITY

Say No Mo is a 200-sq. m, two-level premises in an old building in Kyiv. With the curved-walls geometry and without a single parallel wall, the place boasts 4-meter high ceilings and has a distinctive atmosphere. The ground level of the salon features several zones: reception, lounge, manicure/bar, and pedicure. The basement level contains a make-up zone, hair care, cosmetology, restroom, and facilities.

Planning

DESIGN


RECEPTION ZONE

One of the main visual accents of the salon is located in the reception area. The cast-in-situ concrete ‘broken’ arch serves as a metaphor for broken stereotypes in the beauty industry. It is made of poured concrete and weighs several hundred kilograms. The construction of this form was a multi-phased process; it took more than 4 months from the docking assembly to the final joining of shears and toning of the structure.

© Yevhenii Avramenko

The reception zone has a lounge area with furniture groups and a fireplace that serves not only as a waiting area but also as a place to relax during cocktail parties.

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

The reception counter is also made of cast-in-situ concrete and visually resembles a stone block. However, the monolithic look does not impede its functionality – it has a desktop and plug-in connection spots to ensure a fully functional workspace.

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

PEDICURE ZONE

The pedicure zone is located on podiums the ergonomics design of which is a perfect fit for nail technicians.

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

Podiums are equipped with integrated sliding drawers and washbasins for the use of the salon staff; during parties, they are covered with hollow coffee tables. In the middle of the zone, there is a free-standing washbasin that was assembled from two Soviet-era baby bathtubs. 

© Yevhenii Avramenko

Overall, the pedicure zone is finished in light tones with contrasting golden accents, giving it a feeling of cleanness.

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

Nail Bar Axonometric

MAKE UP AND HAIR STYLING ZONE

Salon’s ‘-1’ level is located on the basement floor. Given the lack of natural light, low ceiling height, and small square area of the premises, the entire floor has been finished in white, with the maximum use of mirrors, which visually made the space look light and airy.

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

BAR ZONE

Another main element and a signature mark of the interior is a set of the rounded ‘golden’ panels. Their shape envelopes the walls and columns and visually joins 3 zones: the entrance to the salon, the bar, and the pedicure zone. The panels are used in retail operations, serve as bar shelves and partitions, and mask the unevenness of the original walls.

Exploded

© Yevhenii Avramenko

Panels are made of polished stainless steel (0.5 mm thick) with titanium nitride coating. 

© Yevhenii Avramenko

The bar counter is plated with black metal with crude welding seams made intentionally prominent. The top of the bar is made of a 12-mm thick composite material. 

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

The passage that leads to the nail art zone has a hanging hammock chair, which has become a favorite Instagram spot of the salon visitors.

© Yevhenii Avramenko

NAIL ART ZONE

A 2-meter deep water basin was discovered in the nail art room during the leveling of the concrete screed. Our team decided to keep this unique feature, filling it up with balls the color of the landing; a glass floor was assembled on top of the basin.

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

© Yevhenii Avramenko

The salon’s name – Say No Mo – is in tune with balbek bureau’s approach to this project. ‘Say No Mo’ to the traditional point of view on designing beauty salons, gender distinction, ordinary solutions. Only the flight of imagination, creativity, and aesthetics.

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