Aesthetics and environmentalism share equal billing throughout the Aveda Tokyo Lifestyle Salon and Spa, this year's ISP/VM+SD Store of the Year. The 3-story, 6000-square-foot prototype represents Aveda's first foray into the Japanese market, and is the result of a three-year collaboration by FRCH Design Worldwide (Cincinnati), Aveda's in-house design team in New York and the Tokyo-based retail store development team at Aveda's parent company, Estée Lauder.
Designers say the shop/salon/spa/café is a physical representation of Aveda's corporate philosophy, as articulated by founder Horst Rechelbacher: "Our mission is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example of environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty but also around the world."
In keeping with those ideals, fixtures and furniture throughout the Tokyo salon are made with Tamo oak, a locally sourced wood that's harvested to control soil erosion. Other "green" touches within the space include: flooring and stairs made of Sokoita wood that was reclaimed from a demolished, century-old farmhouse; cabinets made from compressed corn sorghum stalks; walls finished in low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints that are non-toxic and non-polluting; and solar panels on the roof that partially power the spa's operations.
Jan Tribbey, Aveda's vp, planning and design, notes that the emphasis on the natural extends to the building's lighting. "The front of the building is all glass, and the rear is at least 30 percent glass," Tribbey notes. "That reduces the space's reliance on artificial light. Also, natural light is best for customers when it comes to viewing the hair-color processing and other services offered by the salon."
Client: Aveda, New York - Chris Hacker, senior vp, global marketing & design; Jan Tribbey, vp, planning and design; Monroe Alechman, vp, visual merchandising; Sojiro Inoue, retail design director (Tokyo)
Design: FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati - James Lazzari, partner; Andrew McQuilkin, vp/creative director; Jay Kratz, design director; Lori Kolthoff, director, resource design; Frank Liebgott, project architect; Franck Steinglen, designer; Jeff Waggoner, graphic production director
Architect: Heart, Tokyo - Masao Murakami, project architect