Hawthorne Chelsea by Bond
Hawthorne Chelsea is a COVID-Safe Hair Salon located in Chelsea, New York, has been designed in 2020 by Bond.
Architects Noam Dvir and Daniel Rauchwerger of BoND have transformed a loft in a landmark building in the neighborhood of Chelsea into a hair salon. The design process began in January 2020, and when reports of the pandemic started hitting the news, the duo – together with the salon’s founder Garrett Bryant – adapted the original design to accommodate new public health regulations.
Keeping the original open layout of the space, the designers introduced wooden frames that operate as thresholds between different areas, while maintaining visual connection. Upon entry, patrons are directed to a small foyer and bathroom area where they can wash their hands and sanitize or leave any personal belongings. The adjacent waiting area is separated from the main styling area by an additional frame that doubles as display for hair products. “The idea was to allow the hairstylists to monitor people coming in and out of the space, without putting any walls up“, says Dvir, “while light in appearance, the frames are impactful in creating distinct areas”.
Following the guidelines for social distancing, the previously stationary styling stations became mobile, allowing to keep clients 10’ apart. The stations could be moved around the space as needed and be sanitized between appointments without interfering the work of other stylists. In the future, when social distancing rules will be relaxed or phased out, the number of stations could be doubled.
A key feature of the design are mobile planters with Ficus trees and lush Monsteras. The plants, together with large scale murals that dominate the space, are inspired by Henry Matisse’s plant-filled studio and colorful papercut works. The designers carefully positioned the plants to create invisible paths between stations and to further eliminate unnecessary physical proximity.
“In the past few months we are seeing retail spaces being adapted to social distance measures in varying degrees of success, installing floor stickers and roping to better control the number and flow of people”, says Rauchwerger. “Our approach to introduce light interventions like wood frames, plants or lighting fixtures to mark off areas“.
Hawthorne Studio was recently reopened as part of Phase II in New York ,switching to an online reservation system and cashless payment. “Little did I know when we were designing the studio that we would be so prepared for social distancing and our new normal”, says the studio’s founder, Garrett Bryant.
Dvir and Rauchwerger, who previously worked in the New York office of OMA, established BoND in 2017. The studio focuses on high end residential and commercial interiors in New York and in the Hamptons. Previously published work in Dezeen includes a gut renovation of an apartment in Chelsea.
Photography by Nick Glimenakis