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Roji Salon Profile: How Architectural Elements Can Enhance the Salon Experience

The NewAction Nishi Development in Canberra provides the new frontier of sustainable architecture. The Japanese-inspired design offers solar heating and thermal hot water, rainwater collection, ecological materials and more, delivering an 8 star accommodation energy rating, as opposed to the average 2.5, to make it Canberra’s most sustainable mixed-use building complex.


The NewAction Nishi Development

Housed inside this complex is the astutely named Hotel Hotel, and tucked away in this succintly-named hotel lobby is a salon that emulates the Nishi complex’s focus on sustainability, rituals and renewal – meet Roji Salon.

CTA_Roji Salon_Entry View 01

Also constructed with inspirations drawn from Japanese architecture, the salon’s use of contrasting light techniques, a muted colour palette and exposed timber makes you feel like you’re entering a rainforest, awakening a connection to nature and immersing clients in the calming salon ritual. The name Roji, is taken from the Japanese term for the path leading to the tea house – the literal separation between everyday and spiritual, a dualistic symbol made apt in the salon’s transition from the outside world.

CTA_Roji Salon_Basin Area portholes

As well as connecting to the values espoused in the Nishi complex, an organic approach was also based on the salon’s Aveda principles – that of a respect for the environment and ceremonial approach to hair services. Looking to attract the sophisticated, well-travelled clients who venture to the hotel, the aesthetic needed to reflect this high-end market, an ideal that became paramount to the award-winning architects behind the salon, Craig Tan Architects.

CTA_Roji Salon_Hotel Airlock View_evening

Comprised of an entry, styling area and basin zone, the salon is designed to transition the client from the hustle and bustle of the outside hotel to lobby, to tranquillity worthy of the salon’s Japanese tea-house muse. The salon strategically introduces its natural lighting and raw material over three key zones – the darker entry zone, the artificially lit styling area, and the naturally lit basin area, which looks out onto planter beds.

CTA_Roji Salon_POS view 02

This strict attention to the dynamic experience of each salon client, and the enterprise’s eco-conscious attitude, has not gone unnoticed. Since opening in 2015, the salon has been honoured with architectural awards including Winner of the Schwarzkopf Best Salon Design Awards, Winner of the Australian Interior Design Awards Best of State (ACT) Commercial Design and more.

Thanks to a combination of the Nishi Complex’s focus on sustainability, Aveda’s environmentally-minded principles and an over-whelming trend in the salon industry towards sustainability, Roji’s ecological considerations are second to none. The overarching commitment of the Nishi Complex to sustainability informed an extensive use of renewable low grade plywood, pine, cork, and select Australian hardwoods, combined with the use of sustainable water based stains and sealers. Lighting was designed to achieve ample working levels, utilising both energy efficient and natural sources. These facets have been a win for the environment, the salon design and the establishment’s back pocket.

CTA_Roji Salon_POS view 02

Roji has won acclaim by going that extra mile (in a fuel-efficient car, of course). Extra considerations to the client experience and the natural world have allowed it to be a true sanctuary away from the action of the Hotel Hotel lobby – a refuge all salons should offer their clients.

CTA_Roji Salon_Basin Area column shadow

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