Graphic and contemporary: The Kult Studio reinforces the shifting aesthetic of spaces dedicated to men’s grooming in a growing market. Ukrainian interior design and architecture practice Sivak+Partners was briefed to give the central Odessa barbershop a unique spatial treatment that could accommodate future expansion.

It was crucial that the concept avoided all stereotypes: no hairstyle posters, cluttered displays or exposed brickwork. ‘Over the past seven years, the loft style has spread widely in Ukraine,’ says Dmitriy Sivak, lead architect. ‘Cafés, restaurants, offices and hotels have started to look similar, and barbershops began to copy one another. The client wanted the interior to feel masculine, but without the clichés that are popular in the city today.’

Sivak+Partners faced a few challenges. For one, the project had to be carried from concept to creation in just three months. And, since the space is located in an old building near the city’s landmark Deribasovskaya Street, there were logistical considerations as well. The designers had to be strategic about their material selection: existing wooden floors, for example, couldn’t support any heavy materials – not even tiles. But, due to the tight timeframe, the solutions had to be relatively simple, too. After sorting through dozens of samples, the team landed on decorative plaster, which blankets the interior in grey tones. Meanwhile, geometric lighting overhead highlights stainless-steel and marble fixtures.

The practice remedied the original interior’s lack of relaxation space with a mezzanine, which also houses an additional technical room. The barbershop will eventually include a tattoo parlour and a unisex pedicure area.