Osaka-based studio Sides Core cuts to the chase with Flux, a Kyoto hair salon that combines nostalgia with modernism.

Housed on the second floor of a former car showroom, designer Sohei Arao transformed the 148.5 sq m concrete enclave into an urban hairdressing refuge. The salon, founded by Kengo Nakamura, presents a theatrical concept to showcase staff’s hairdressing and styling skills in an immersive space, while also playing with perspective and perception.

In keeping with the parlour’s philosophy to create a ‘flowing’ yet inviting setting that exhibits talent, mirrors are suspended 1.5 m above the floor with only a small selection of key pieces filling cutting and styling areas, like Hans J Wegner’s Elbow chair and Jaime Hayón’s navy Piña seat.

Elsewhere, white draping curtains soften stark concrete silhouettes, enveloped by floor-to-ceiling windows that offer striking vistas of the cityscape. In harmony with its surroundings both in ethos and design, Flux’s intriguing use of depth, a characteristic of Kyoto’s architecture, prompts users to take a step through the looking glass – with the hair to match. §