What is Stravinskij and why did they refit their salon?
The original Stravinskij salon, established in 1991, was the flagship of Constantin Harach, then a recent emigre from Lebanon. The salon was synonymous with forward-thinking hair and beauty treatments. Stravinskij evolved into Badaro salon, and with it came a new growth and expansion as Constantin’s son Anthony took the reins. Over the years, Anthony has cemented Badaro into Wellington’s hair and beauty scene as well as starting Gentlemen’s Approach, a boutique salon targeted toward men. Across both, he has implemented a stronger focus on sustainability while formulating a full-service experience for his clientele. With the reincarnation of the Stravinskij brand came an opportunity to develop a recognisable spatial and atmospheric signature at a new site only a stone’s throw from the original.
What was your approach to the design?
The space was originally a camera store and sushi shop. The two tenancies were combined and the spaces completely stripped. Grounded by the sustainable undertones of the revised Stravinskij brand, aspects of Aotearoa’s landscape helped in initiating the design exploration. The resulting materiality, textures, colours and tones draw from and celebrate Aotearoa, particularly those moments where dark rock meets water, the sun pierces breaking clouds, and the deep greens of our flora retreat into shadow.
How did you want it to feel?
Contrasts in light, materiality, and texture create varied atmospheres throughout the salon, forming an interior experience that, like our landscape, is constantly evolving. These shifts may be nuanced, but they present an architecture that is less focussed on large gestures or aesthetics dictated by trends. Instead, Stravinskij is focussed on forming a space and experience of calmness and purity. One that may trigger a memory of our landscape – the light, the textures, the colours, even the sounds. Upon entering, Stravinskij clients experience a transition from the bustling city into a calm and still environment.
Tell us about the materials and why you chose them – it’s quite distinctive.
Deep green velvet drapes and a low, dark, textured ceiling compress the space, creating a more intimate setting for the reception and retail area. Timaru Bluestone pavers with tumbled edges and soft faces form the ground plane, along with a carefully choreographed series of plinths. In certain light, the texture of the Bluestone appears glossy, almost wet, and not unlike the caliginous face of a Fiordland cave or weathered rock of Wellington’s south coast. Rising perfectly from the field of pavers the Bluestone plinths are Stravinskij’s foundational elements supporting crafted stainless-steel mirror units and retail shelves. The introduction of stainless steel offers a counterpoint to the stone with its soft velvet finish.