Crowning Glory

Aug. 1, 2004
Crowning Glory
WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?Crowning GloryLocated in a historic structure in downtown Providence, RI, that had recently been renovated, the new home of the Lumiere Salon initially offered the design team at 3SIXO a space punctuated by generous scale, openness and residual historic character. The owners desired to retain many of their new home's unique qualities including a 17-foot-high ceiling and two full elevations of glass storefront. How to reconcile this wish with the need to deliver varying degrees of privacy was the challenge presented to designers Kyna Leski, Chris Bardt and Jack Ryan. In the end, they transformed the perimeter of the space into a "crown" that could modulate the degree of reflectance, transparency and radiance of the 1,900-square-foot space.In a stunning nod to the salon's name, 8,000 glimmering copper rods hang from ceiling to floor, lining the interior of the glass storefront to create an unforgettable image from the exterior while screening the view of the interior. From inside, this continuous permeable scrim is more revealing of the outside and of the existing plaster and terra cotta wall finish behind the pilasters. The salon's "crown" continues along the space's perimeter, as lines of light glow through a full height, 70-foot-long mirror wall. The effect is achieved by backlighting and removing the mirror's silvering in an arrangement of thin vertical stripes. The long wall also holds within its thickness the color lab, hair dryers and storage closets. On the back wall, light emanates through the folds of fabric that shape the manicure and pedicure alcoves.The heart of the space is defined by a "forest" of custom shelving/partitions, unique copper/ stainless steel work stations and a freestanding cherry wood wedge that holds the bathroom and changing rooms. The positioning of these elements was essential in creating the proper functional relationships and varying degrees of privacy needed.

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