lula, an all-pink hair salon in rural japan
with the rise of covid-19, the japanese countryside is experiencing a significant influx of urban dwellers. although not an uncommon trend before the pandemic hit, the current departure from city life has allowed yusuke yoshino architects to design the lula hair salon as a shop that explicitly stands out in a rural context. located on the first floor of a five-story apartment building, lula is cloaked in blush-pink tiling and wall finishes, elevated by golden accents in the brand signage, furniture, and door handles. with such a unique coloring and tiling, the architect wanted to maintain continuity with the building while also attempting to break it.
all images © takumi ota
blending shades of pink that respond to changes in light
at closer look, the lula hair salon combines nuanced tonalities of pink. the architect created that nuance using brick tiles of four different color tones and painting walls with two shades of pink. ‘the base color was pink, a color used on the exterior walls of houses in morocco and the middle east, in an attempt to create an anonymous space and landscape,’ reveals architect yusuke yoshino. indeed, the shop becomes a complex interplay of multiple tones. additionally, the perception of the different shades alters with the changing of light during the day. a phenomenological experience, therefore, settles in with time. as such, lula becomes an abstract space, with fully-reflective side tables and borderless standing mirrors to reinforce this ‘surreal’ atmosphere.
the material and patterns bleed into the exterior to create a sense of continuity
although designed as a free-flowing salon with no definitive divisions, the deliberate placement of steps in the right spots creates a sequential space for visitors to explore. that said, the shop features three main zones: the main salon area raised one step higher to differentiate it from the gallery where people can proactively engage in different programs such as studio photography, pop-up stores, café, and exhibition. a spa finally completes the lula hair salon; situated at the back of the building with a large staircase, the spa area is surrounded by semi-private rooms to create a highly hospitable atmosphere.
the floor and partitions are clad in brick tiles composed of four different shades of pink
the gallery area can host different activities, from studio photography to exhibition and café
golden accents elevate the all-pink character of the salon