Bounce, the latest unisex Style Lounge in Bangalore created by Architectural firm Sanctuary, is replete with glass highlights and pista, mint and vanilla vibes. writes Reema Moudgil
“IT JUST HAPPENED BY CHANCE,” says Architect Anshul Chodha about the inception of Bounce, the latest unisex style lounge in Bangalore. The best things in life may be serendipitous but 3,400 sq ft of ingenuity cannot be created by chance. Bounce’s ambiance is like an ice cream flavour you have never tasted – replete with pista, mint, vanilla, and a dash of something mysterious. The place feels different too. Cool without being pretentious. Smart without being snobbish. And open.
The striking glass façade allows passers by glimpses of the mysterious hair styling and grooming rituals. But because the glass cage is suspended a floor above traffic, there is no eye level intrusion, and clients enjoy a semblance of privacy plus a bird’s eye view of Lavelle Road. Owners and siblings Vikram and Prarthana Mohan wanted to create a space that would reflect their sense of youth, adventure and a little madness laced with a lot of method. In Anshul Chodha and his design team of Rajeshwari Saklewal and Raji Sunderkrishnan, they found all this and more. Chodha says, “I was given a broad brief… a stylish salon, unlike the introverted spaces, where enclosed cubicles serve various purposes. The ambiance was meant to be of international standards.”
He was delighted that the owners, in their early twenties, were full of new ideas. Having grown up around salons (their mother runs a chain of successful salons) the two wanted to push the envelope a bit and turn the salon concept inside out. Literally! Bounce had to be a world class lounge. And it is. It offers cut an colour services, beauty therapies and nail art. Not to mention reflexology, which initiates fretting clients into the pleasures of an hour-long Thai foot massage.
White leather and stainless steel couches in the lobby underscore Bounce’s style and comfort quotient, while an eye catching retail panel in combination glass showcases world class hair care products in the reception. Then you step into the hub of the salon and are caught up in the eddies of swirling energy. Chodha was inspired by the name, ‘Bounce.’ “It connotes energy, verve, vibrance, not just in the salon, but all around it. Glass allows the exchanges of inner and outer energies, and I used it to create various visual layers – frosted, laminated, transparent, translucent and occasionally opaque,” he says.
The layout is functional without being predictable. The refreshing colour palette has hints of sprint green in the glass panels. “I wanted to create a feeling of walking through a paddy field,” says Chodha poetically, and then he gets deliciously prosaic, “The green also reminds me of a lovely green shampoo bottle just before you pour it!” The soothing white laminated floor forms a pristine canvas for the creativity that was unleashed here while warm slate breaks the synthetic monotony of materials like metal and glass. “A salon is where you add synthetic layers to your self but at the same time, the real you emerges only after good grooming, right?” he asks.
A lot of visual excitement is created by the innovatively designed colour bar. You can order hair colour over a bar counter like you would order a cocktail in a lounge!” quips Chodha. “It is a creative area so the design too had to be funky. That explains the colour tubes suspended above the bar like cocktail glasses! Lighting is key to a salon. It should not hit the eye with an intense glare. It should create a different mood in each area. So while the cutting area has to be brightly lit, the lighting gets diffused in the reflexology section. “I have used a combination of white and yellow lighting.”
The heart of Bounce is its hair cutting area and Prarthana and Vikram wanted a certain flexibility in the way it was designed. So we see individual cutting islands with mirrors rather than an assembly line monotony of a dozen clients sitting in a row and trying not to look sideways. Each client enjoys a sense of personal space. Everything from the stools to the mirrors can be moved around. “It is a ‘plug and play’ design. If tomorrow Prarthana and Vikram want to have a fashion show here, everything can be moved out of the way,” says Chodha. A slightly high floor level accommodates the hair-wash basins. Pigeonholed towels wait nearby. A textured lemon yellow corridor leads to the five reflexology enclosures and bridal make up areas. The ambiance changes dramatically in the private section of the salon where white leatherite panels create a sense of peace, intimacy and ease all around.
The best compliment ever paid to the design of Bounce? A rejuvenated clientele. And as Prarthana laughingly puts it, “A lot of new salons with glass façades.”