Located in the bowels of U-Town, a mid-end shopping mall in Beijing’s East Third Ring, the salon is a marked departure from Lily Nail’s other outlets in the city and Shanghai. For this stage set that is so reminiscent of Matt Damon’s botanical lab in The Martian, we have Arch Studio to thank.
Lead designer Han Wen Qiang has transformed a rectangular space into a curvilinear white cocoon that’s lit by a solid curling curtain slash chandelier that drops from the ceiling. A wall of white perforated steel extends from the entrance into the interiors, drawing the eye along a sinuous sightline that curves towards a curved wall lined with irregular arches. Flanked by six monolithic cream-hued treatment chairs, these transition the glossy white space into a more textural raw concrete space that displays the bottles of nail varnish and colour.
Han’s boldest move comes in the form of the opposite wall, which he has turned into a vertical garden festooned with bird’s nest ferns, devil’s ivy, and maidenhair ferns.