Minor Rose hair salon in NYC uses mirrors, minimalism and metal

Minor Rose hair salon in NYC uses mirrors, minimalism and metal

Architecture studio Also Office creates a perfectly formed jewel-box interior for the new Minor Rose hair salon in Gramercy Park, New York

Often, great things come in small packages, and this new hair salon interior in New York’s chic Gramercy Park neighbourhood is a case in point. Named Minor Rose, the space was designed by Evan Erlebacher of Brooklyn-based architecture studio Also Office. The project, for hairstylist Bradley Scott Rosen, was conceived as a boutique, perfectly detailed interior that is at once fit for purpose and aesthetically sharp. 

The business expected to host a maximum of two people at any time – the stylist and the client – so the interior, a two-chair salon, was created as an ‘intimate’ space, explains Erlebacher. ‘As basic forms of social intimacy are renegotiated [with the pandemic], the salon can be a sanctuary for human connection,’ adds Rosen. ‘I wanted a space that acts as a silent collaborator: a frame that augments the work that is done behind the chair.’

Even though small in scale, the project didn’t come without its challenges. ‘The main challenge here was a combination of working with a small space, under a tight schedule, with affordability in mind, in the summer of 2020 when both the construction and service industries were at a standstill,’ says Erlebacher, who leads the young, boutique studio. He has tackled everything from residential, to retail and commercial work in the past, and currently has residential and art projects in the pipeline. 

Minor Rose hair salon detail drawers

‘To enlarge the appearance of the interior, we punctuated the walls with mirrored, architectural niches to reflect and multiply the space beyond its modest footprint,’ he continues. ‘Using mirrors was a natural choice for the salon, which is all about the experience of looking from different perspectives – both for Bradley and his clients. We wanted the design of the salon to be elemental so that it created a simple frame for that relationship.’

The choice of materials was important to achieve this. The design cleverly uses mirrors, polished aluminum, concrete, and oriented strand board (OSB) to orchestrate a neat, uncluttered space that conceals all the chaotic functions of a hair salon. There are two custom-made, rolling workstations clad in aluminium that give what could have been just a simple storage solution a monolithic, sculptural quality. Rosen was open to ideas: ‘I wanted the space to function as a hair salon without necessarily looking or feeling like one.’

Clean and minimalist here doesn’t equate to sterile, nor does it mean that form overshadows function. ‘We coaxed additional texture out of the OSB wall panels by using two contrasting layers of dark and light paint to create a fine grained background,’ says Erlebacher. ‘The overall intention for the salon was to be as fundamental, even abstracted, as possible, so that everything in it felt essential and considered.’ §

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