The qualitative attributes of two different elements – aluminum and water – present themselves idiosyncratically in this dome of beauty; a space composed by the charm of its raw materials.
A step inside the Arkhe Beauty Salon and the jaw dropping view of the ceiling leaves one spellbound for a few minutes. Here the curliness of hair is compared to the waviness of water.
Designer and architect Moriyuki Ochiai extracts the qualitative attributes of two different elements and correlates them to conjure a space that takes its visitors into another world in just one glance.
Moriyuki Ochiai, born in Tokyo, Japan established his own studio in 2008. Active in architecture, interior décor, furniture, landscape and industrial design, Moriyuki emphasises on his source of inspiration, that being the vivacious, vibrant beauty of nature.
Japan oozes a spectacular fusion of contemporary and classic design and to generate a space that does justice to the Japanese oeuvre is a formidable challenge. Resultantly when Moriyuki Ochiai’s firm was rolled in to craft the new hair salon named ‘Arkhe’ in the city it is no surprise then that they chose an out of the box concept to inject life into the moderately sized space.
‘Arkhe’ refers to the ancient belief that water is the source of all creation. “This is a space made up by the charm of its raw materials. Thus by exploring the qualities like malleability and ductility of aluminum, we bring out the beauty of the material in a whole new form and one that might never have been anticipated. This translates into a space that is filled with transient and ever-changing light, reminiscent of the reflection of light on the surface of water,” expresses Moriyuki.
The designers intended the customers to feel the warmth, sophistication and elegance of the surroundings when they walked into Arkhe. Hence they created an urban, chic atmosphere interlaced with contemporary grace that can transport one quite easily into a world of fantasy.
‘Recyclable’ aluminum sheet was employed to represent the flow of water and hair, reflecting the soft sparkling light, just as water’s surfaces do. This filled the space with elegant and sensual curves. The walls are painted in a silver shade that once again mimics the glimmering reflection of light on the surface of water. The aluminum’s flow changes freely while providing both a function and atmosphere suited to each area.
The hair-cutting zone is a space with a gentle flow and a high ceiling while the centre aisle is a space which stands apart due to a change in height. Moriyuki elucidates, “Water is the source of all life, and this space projects an image of clarity as a beauty salon in pursuit of the origin of beauty.”
Moriyuki aspires to continue to create works that fulfill people’s dreams, become the energy for their lives, and then move on to a deeper dimension that exceeds life itself. And one look at the expanse of fantasy interspersed with an impressive architectural manoeuvre of Arkhe salon, it seems he only speaks of the inevitable.
Text By Kruti Choksi
Photographs Atsushi Ishida Courtesy The Architects