Ryo Matsui's two-story hair salon in central Japan is anything but an ordinary Japanese beauty salon. Situated along a main thoroughfare near Chiba station, the architect played with the idea of making true roadside architecture. With an iconic shape in the form of a typical gabled house Matsui provides the building with a clear character. By covering the icon with a huge glass façade, the opening facing the street surpasses the idea of a picture window. Its oversized shape doesn't merely frame the activities happening inside but creates two-way communication between costumers undergoing beauty treatment and the daily flow of cars, monorail and pedestrians outside. 

In the interior, special attention was given to the light quality and the expression of the roof structure made of light and thin white-painted steel members, a design measure that is also visually reflected in the rims of the furniture. While the customers are delighted by the unity of design and the rare experience of spaciousness, Matsui stresses his intention of bringing back a sense of human scale to this part of town. 'In this hair salon, staff and customers blend like a family,' asserts the architect the success behind this open, yet small glazed house.

Photos Daici Ano