- Daigo Ishii + Future-scape Architects
- Niigata, Japan
In this project, a 25-year-old wooden office building was remodeled as a beauty salon. The original architecture was mediocre; however, we wanted to maintain the building because it had existed in town for 25 years, while still creating something new. The goal was a structure connected with the past but suggesting new possibilities.
The complicated arrangement of windows in the façade was determined based on the existing structure.
Horizontally, the windows are in the same place as the original windows. Since the horizontal position was left just as it had been, new load on the existing structure was not generated. The vertical position of windows was determined in accordance with the six existing structural levels of the building (ground, floor, windowsill, door frame, ceiling). Our goal was to avoid destroying the rythym of the townscape that neighborhood residents were familiar with, yet at the same time introduce something new that would improve the overall appearance of the street. Although the placement of the windows may at first appear random, the design was actually determined systematically in accordance with the rules of the existing structure.
In the interior, we actively used mirrors, a necessary element in a beauty salon, as an architectural device.
The synergistic effect of the mirrors and exterior windows complicates the simple interior space, causing the light and atmosphere of the interior to shift over time. The floor and ceiling are finished with high gloss paint that reflects light and exterior scenery. The result is a sense that the outdoors has come inside, which fulfills the client's request for a beauty salon with a comfortable outdoors feeling to it.
Creating a lively interior scene
When passersby look into the salon, they see an interior framed by complicated windows and divided by the virtual images in the mirrors, which overlap with the actual activity going on in front of the mirrors.
The resulting impression is of amplified activity inside the salon. In the initial research we did on beauty salons, we learned that salons in general tend to appear very quiet when there are no clients present. By designing a building that amplifies the actions happening inside, we created the illusion of a consistently lively interior atmosphere.