Anarchitect renovates 1970s Dubai villa for international hair salon Rossano Ferretti

The internationally acclaimed haircare brand Rossano Ferretti Hairspa has just opened the doors to its first branch in the Middle East on Beach Road in Dubai’s Jumeirah area. The new salon sits in a recently renovated villa, completed by Dubai-based architect and design practice Anarchitect.

“We felt that it was important to retain a domestic scale for the project, which is synonymous with the Jumeirah area,” said Jonathan Ashmore, founder and director at Anarchitect. “It was the perfect occasion to present a statement piece of repurposed architecture that represents the opportunities to reimagine, regenerate, modify and repurpose existing buildings into a contextual piece of ‘Arabian-Modernism’ in a fraction of the time, money and also, environmental impact.”

Set in a 1970s villa, the structure takes reference from Rossano Ferretti’s vision to locate its salons around the world within existing and historical spaces, refurbishing them to create memorable moments for its clientele. Responding to the brand’s brief, Anarchitect set out to design the salon by acknowledging the original building’s residential past and using its intimate spatial layout to curate a sequence of spaces.

With respect to the contextual and cultural character of the beach-front neighbourhood, the refurbishment saw the original ornate façade pared down to create a refined modern symmetry. The ground and first-floor windows were framed by dark timber to create a vertical rhythm and balance in the proportions, with details like patterned screens on the face of the property subtly referencing traditional design elements of the region.

“Existing buildings, new or old, make up a location’s context,” said Ashmore. “Older structures are embedded with historic layers and character from a time gone by, if only by a few decades. These layers are worth preserving and also contrasting and enhancing with new interventions in a renovation project. This approach evolves the life cycle of the building, and creates further layers that will ultimately contribute to the future context of the area.”

According to Ashmore, the renovation included demolishing an external lift core, removing the exterior façade’s ornamental additions, and partially removing all of its non-structural interior partitions.

“We renovated the existing staircase and modified, rationalised and aligned window openings,” said Ashmore. “On the ground floor we extended the footprint at the front of the property to accommodate a reception area and back-office.”

In addition to the large reception, which features a crafted staircase and white Carrara marble with black Marquina bordered flooring (a reference to the black and white tones of the Rossano Ferretti brand), the existing spaces were opened and framed with refined blackened-oak display joinery, leading visitors through a reception lounge bathed in natural daylight. A second extension was built on to the rear as well, to allow for a new back-of-house service area.

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