A CUT ABOVE
– the hair salon redefining industrial chic
Nestled among the art galleries and jewellers on Parnell Rd in Auckland is a hair salon that is giving customers a very stylish experience indeed. Opened in July by husband and wife team Stephen and Andrea Cockle, ASC Salon is split across two distinct levels. A veiled entry leads into the ground floor of the salon, which is designated for cutting and styling, while upstairs is a comfortable lounge area for those undergoing lengthy treatments, complete with a coffee machine and a bar stocked with wine and beer.
The couple worked with Auckland-based design practice Material Creative for the interior fitout. “The brief was an industrial aesthetic, while still being warm and inviting,” explains director Toni Brandso. “They wanted a space that would be unexpectedly cool in the heart of the very traditional Parnell suburb.”
Black steel workstations – custom-made by sculptor, blacksmith and artist Jon Hall from Forging Studio – feature across both floors, helping to transform the heritage building into a more contemporary space.
“We took out the old wooden staircase and created a new steel and mesh staircase and platform that allow more room underneath for adding another washbasin,” explains Brandso.
The harder, more industrial elements of the design, such as glass, polished concrete and metal, are offset with warming textures like wood and touches of colour. The larger, more airy space upstairs boasts a high stud and sash windows, while a feature wall covered with Nuvolette cloud wallpaper from Cole & Son’s Fornasetti II collection softens the room. “I wanted to create a space within the wash area where people would feel calm,” says Brandso. “I saw the cloud wallpaper at Icon Textiles a while ago and saved it in my memory bank for a rainy day.”
Floor-to-ceiling herringbone tiles line the hallway at the rear of the downstairs salon, while white lighting, rather than yellow, mimics daylight, making hair colouring easier. The workstations are freestanding and moveable to allow reconfiguring of the salon as the business grows. “It does feel a bit like you churn clients in and out when you’re in a big, busy salon,” says Andrea. “We wanted to be able to give our clients the service they expect and deserve.”
Top: the upper floor of the salon mixes heritage features, like sash windows, with contemporary materials.
Middle: custommade black steel workstations downstairs can be moved as the business grows.
Bottom: a comfortable lounge area upstairs allows clients having longer treatments to relax.