Within our design projects, we incorporate five key ideas to ensure that our designs are tailored effectively to both the current and future needs of our clients.
Sustainable spaces – We create spaces which are capable of change and can grow and adapt with our clients changing needs.
Nature and technology – We make use of new, innovative technology to ensure that the client maintains a positive connection to nature.
WELL Building Standard – We try to consider WELL’s 10 concepts for health & wellbeing in the built environment in our design phase to ensure our spaces work for all occupants.
Biophilic design – We harness the human-nature connection to improve psychological & physiological wellbeing and productivity in the spaces we design.
Connected community – Our evidence-based designs improve a sense of community & connectedness within the built environment.
Our latest project ‘Rose and River’ is a beauty salon in Brockley, with a key focus on giving its occupants a restorative break from their busy London schedules. Our approach to this project was influenced by our client’s vision of a space to provide balance to people – taking time for yourself is often seen as a luxury, but at Rose and River they see it as an integral part of a balanced lifestyle.
They wanted to create a space using Biophilic Design principals, which allows both mental and physical restoration to take place during a beauty treatment, so that you leave the space with a clear head and a sense of calm (as well as a lovely fresh pedicure). The salon provides several services and Biophilic Design principals play a key role in each area.
Reception and waiting area
The reception and waiting area incorporates a highly textural reception desk. Hand glazed, reflective tiles clad the desk and bounce light from the large shopfront window around the rest of the salon. A comfy window seat sits in front of the desk, encouraging beneficial exposure to natural light (this has been proven to help rebalance our circadian rhythms, improving sleep and mood amongst other things). This seat is L shaped to encourage a sociable atmosphere as well as providing long views to the outdoors with a simple turn of the head. High level shelving provides space for product display as well as beginning to introduce some planting to the area.
Eyebrow and lash area
Situated in the adjacent shop window, the eyebrow and lash area features a reupholstered barber chair, nestled amongst plants and with another long view to the outdoors. The natural wool fabric adds texture and complexity and a vibrant yellow trim adds a flash of energizing colour to the space. The high levels of natural light ensure that the chair is practical for the therapists working in the salon, whilst the motion of trees out the window allow the client to zone out and watch the rhythmic movement of the wind in the leaves. A soft gaze onto natural scenery in the distance has been shown to help restore our directed attention and cognitive functioning, helping us to work more effectively after a nature filled break!
Freestanding plywood shelving and tables with beautiful, organic detailing were created as a bespoke addition to the salon by Lozi – a London based furniture studio. This allows the table configuration to be flexible when required. A high-level shelf above the tables is covered with trailing artificial planting. We find that if touchable planting at low level is real, unreachable planting can still have a positive impact on occupant wellbeing – even if it’s artificial.
A mirror also runs at high level behind the planting, helping to bounce natural light and even flashes of movement around the salon. This works alongside careful positioning of the tables – which are placed perpendicular to the large windows to allow views out for both therapists and clients.
A raised pedicure platform, constructed in the corner farthest from the windows, ensures that clients are still able to gain a long view across the manicure area and reception, to the outdoors. Highly reflective, hand glazed tiles and a terrazzo top ensure that the platform incorporates engaging textures, which works well alongside the rich, plaster coloured ceramic pedicure sinks.
A bespoke shelf covered in planting and product display helps to shield a comfortable sofa for clients to sit on during pedicures, creating a sheltered and intimate corner. Prospect and refuge theory states that this environment will make occupants feel relaxed and at ease – encouraging comfortable conversation.
A high-level window brings some natural light into the space and a large sliding door makes it practical to enter and exit the room. The treatment room has been designed to draw the eye upwards towards the ceiling. A shelf runs at high level around the perimeter of the room, allowing artificial planting to trail down into the room and frame a view up to the ceiling, which is covered with a complex, naturally inspired wallpaper. This ensures that the customer’s have something interesting and absorbing to look at throughout any treatment.