Dean Gera At The Phoenicia
Program: Hair Dressing Salon
Location: The Phoenicia Hotel, Valletta, Malta
Status: Completed 2018
Photography: Alex Attard /Julian Vassallo
Finishes Contractor: Halmann Vella Ltd.
Text: Ann Dingli
Nestled within the lower levels of Floriana’s historic Phoenicia Hotel, Dean Gera’s seventh salon complements its Art Deco context, emphasising material contrast and proportional harmony. The salon’s workstations line up along a wall of five styling-niches, unified by a horizontal mirror and contrasting material bands. Accents of brass define divisions between each station and mark the ground to delineate service and waiting spaces. The arches’ vaults mimic the hotel’s iconic entrance portico, echoing its classical geometry.
The salon’s limited footprint demanded a fluid floorplan. By subdividing the space into zones, the user- experience becomes definitive and lucid. An entrance zone doubles as product display, presenting as a dimly lit, curved, mirror wall that heightens the sense of transition from the wider hotel environment into the salon space. Walking towards the Yves Saint Laurent-marble reception desk, users glimpse their faceted reflection, punctuated by displays of products and polished brass. Beyond the entrance zone is a hidden series of back-of-house facilities, as well as a bathroom clad with terrazzo slabs in juxtaposing red tones.
The waiting zone is a brighter space with marbled floors, light walls, and turmeric coloured seating. Mirrored cabinets containing concealed storage and building services flank the sofas, expanding the space through reflection and creating boundaries between the reception desk on one side, and hair-washing station on the other.