niimori jamison fuses public gallery with hair salon in iga, japan

niimori jamison fuses public gallery with hair salon in iga, japan

NIIMORI JAMISON COMPLETE SALON / GALLERY HYBRID 

 

On the main island of Japan, in Mie Prefecture, sits Iga, a historic town that has since become industrialized. When Niimori Jamison received the initial brief for a small hair salon, the studio investigated the neighborhood and discovered that Iga lacked public gathering spaces due to the city’s rapid development to provide housing for factory workers. Moreover, in a nearby high school there was no exhibition space for students from the craft department to display their work. These elements are what guided the vision for the L-shaped concrete and glass Salon / Gallery H. 

niimori jamison fuses public gallery with hair salon in iga, japan
the L-shaped, concrete and glass exterior of salon / gallery H

all images courtesy of Yosuke Ohtake

 

 

ARCHITECT’S PAST SHINES THROUGH IN SALON / GALLERY H

 

Niimori Jamison are a design firm with studios in Australia and Japan, whose works can be found across Europe, Asia and Oceania. The two founders, James Jamison and Yudai Niimori, were specialists in carpentry and concrete formwork, and interior and furniture design, respectively, before combining their expertise. Gallery / Salon H reflects the architects’ former careers, such as the curved concrete ceiling to filter light into the gallery space, and the off-parallel position of the mirror, which gives the salon space a differing sense of depth. 

niimori jamison fuses public gallery with hair salon in iga, japan
curved roof casts uneven filtered light

 

 

FORM REFLECTS BOTH FUNCTIONS IN GALLERY / SALON H DESIGN

 

The Gallery / Salon H building’s L-shaped exterior characteristics demonstrate its dual purpose. The exhibition space is narrow, with double height ceilings and clerestory windows lining the entire eastern width. In contrast, the hair salon is wide and single height with openings on the north and east façades. A rectangular floorplan would have matched the shape of the corner lot. Instead, Niimori Jamison formed a trapezium with a walkway running diagonally through both building and site. As locals cut through, the use of the gallery is promoted.

niimori jamison fuses public gallery with hair salon in iga, japan
subtle changes in typical geometries, natural light, and reflection give locals a chance to pause and reflect

 

 

Internally the distinction of function remains, as a concrete wall and flush doors divide the gallery from the salon. Salon customers take benefit from the exhibition space as both entry points lead to the walkway. Subtle changes in typical geometries, natural light, and reflection give locals a chance to pause and reflect once they enter the exhibition space. 

 

niimori jamison fuses public gallery with hair salon in iga, japan
the off-parallel position of the mirror gives the salon space a differing sense of depth

 

 

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floorplan promotes the use of the gallery by serving as a shortcut through the site

 

niimori jamison fuses public gallery with hair salon in iga, japan
the eastern façade shows full width lining of windows to gallery

niimori jamison fuses public gallery with hair salon in iga, japan
the façade shows the double height and window placement of the walkway

 

 

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salon / gallery h at night

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