Dean Gera At The Embassy
Program: Hair Dressing Salon
Location: The Embassy Hotel, Valletta, Malta
Status: Completed 2021
Photography: Alex Attard
Text: Ann Dingli
The design for the latest Dean Gera salon – the brand’s second outlet in Valletta – strays from typical hairdresser interiors. Drawing on the geometry of city skylines, the space is sculpted through architectural massing, creating a miniature metropolis within an otherwise conventional plan.
The salon is divided into three zones – a reception space; a washing station with storage and bathrooms; and a main styling area. Birch plywood volumes cradle these zones in clean, mono-material units, each of which holding display, storage, or hidden functional space. Product displays within the units are conceived as windows into the solid volumes, with mirrored shelving converting into kaleidoscopic planes – shifting and distorting as users move past them. Through a ‘deny’ and ‘reward’ approach, the plywood volumes direct users through the plan, presenting truncated views of the salon’s enfilade-style rooms, until finally delivering users to the main styling area. An integrated split level adds dimension to the route, which is unified throughout with pink resin flooring.
In the styling area, full height mirrors contrast the timber forms, fragmenting and expanding the space whilst bouncing light off their oversized surfaces. The uniformity of the plywood and flooring is disrupted by bold artwork in the reception and hairwashing areas. The latter includes a typographic piece by Charlie Cauchi; the former a neon artwork by Aaron Bezzina – both selected by Alexandra Pace / Blitz Valletta.