Tag Archives: Tokyo

Canoma’s Communal Salon in Tokyo Embodies Its Design Philosophy

FIRM Canoma
SQ. FT. 1,800 SQF

The so-called “sharing economy” isn’t just changing the way people work—it’s also transforming the spaces they work in. That’s what Tokyo-based firm Canoma proposes with Shaire Salon, located the city’s Harajuku district.

Stylists can rent any of the dozen booths that chief designer Shinsuke Yokoyama carved out of 1,800 square-foot raw space. “I wanted to reproduce the experience of narrow streets in an old town,” Yokoyama says, “the sense of entering consecutive stores.” High-precision wooden partitions form clear boundaries, unified by expanses of both clear and opaque glass that create privacy while allowing the salon’s ample natural light to fill every area. The plaster walls are finished in a gloss designed to reflect that light, joined by smooth stone flooring used everywhere in the salon apart from the shampoo room, which utilizes vinyl in a concrete pattern.

Yokoyoma calls it “a simple design,” unified by repetitions of material changed only in scale—a lesson in less-is-more that, much like the salon, is worth sharing.

Other cut booths, like Happiness, contain custom freestanding mirrors made from steel bar. Photography by Tomooki Kengaku.
In a corridor, solid beach Traevarefabrikernes stools pull up to custom oak plywood tables. Photography by Tomooki Kengaku.
A hinged sold white ash door introduces a lounge, with oak plywood lockers for customers to the left. Photography by Tomooki Kengaku.
The shampoo room includes custom basswood plywood storage, and chairs and sinks by Takara Belmont. Photography by Tomooki Kengaku.
Cut spaces are arranged to resemble storefronts on the street. Photography by Tomooki Kengaku.
Cut boots, including this one named Freedom, offer seating from Beauty Garage, custom integrated mirrored shelving, and sconces from Odelic. Photography by Tomooki Kengaku.
White glass and brass sconces from Bolts Hardware Store define a waiting area. Photography by Tomooki Kengaku.
Plywood frames and lustrous stone flooring create individual studios for the freelance stylists. Photography by Tomooki Kengaku.
At reception, an oak plywood shelf hangs below a brass logo; the wall boasts a plaster finish. Photography by Tomooki Kengaku.

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The World’s Most Incredible Escalators

Also known as stairs that move, today’s escalator seems as revolutionary a concept as vending machines, barely more exciting than coin-operated pay phones. Slowly and diagonally, they move pedestrians up toward destinations with indeterminate reward—like a second-floor Gap. Frequently central pieces of architecture, escalators climb stories with ease, but they’re often eyesores. A handful of designs, however, take the necessary model to the next level. Practical can be pretty, and worthy of a runway—or at the very least, a stunning step up.


Photo: Wim Vanmaele

Atomium (Brussels, Belgium)

While nothing can beat the exterior of Brussels’ Atomium—originally constructed for the 1958 World’s Fair, it’s designed like a magnified unit cell of an iron crystal—it’d be silly to overlook the beauty of its parts. Metal tubes connect massive spheres and double as pathways, wherein original escalators make lengthy journeys (one of which, just under 115 feet long, was Europe’s longest escalator at the time).

Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti

Fondaco dei Tedeschi (Venice, Italy)

Originally constructed in 1228, Venice’s iconic building Fondaco dei Tedeschi arrived long before the first escalator landed in 1896 (in Coney Island, believe it or not). Commissioned to rework the ancient landmark into a new-age department store, architecture firm OMA articulated a new path through the historic building, dressing the escalator with runway-ready accents: red steps, red trim, and rich wooden paneling.

Photo: Nikolas Koenig

Public (New York City)

Ian Schrager’s shiny new Public hotel in Manhattan’s Lower East Side makes an entrance—no surprise for the hotelier known for cofounding Studio 54. Past the ground floor’s revolving doors, escalators designed by Herzog & de Meuronare encased in metal tubes that shoot toward the second-floor lobby. Inside, mirrored surfaces reflect and repeat the golden-orange lights that are piped along handrails, much to the delight of Instagram.

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