Situated outside the Indian capital of New Delhi, the city of Gurgaon is not a renowned hub for design. However, amid the metropolitan clamour, La Leona Women’s Beauty Salon by the Henri Fantome Office for Architecture represents a shift towards environmentally considerate spaces with design value and global appeal.
The area dedicated to the salon, roughly three metres wide at its narrowest end and 20 metres long, presented spatial challenges for the HFOA team. Aiming to increase the sense of space and optimise movement within, any extraneous cladding was stripped back. Adopting a minimalist approach to materials, HFOA have achieved continuity throughout the salon, allowing La Leona’s signature red branding to come to the fore.
The salon succeeds by accommodating La Leona’s staff and customers in a space that is both functional and inviting. HFOA have created an adaptable multipurpose area that affords the business a degree of flexibility, with folding timber screens that let in natural daylight and change the dimensions of treatments rooms according to the requirements of the season.
The extensive use of timber as patterning on walls and in-built storage is a celebrated feature of the space, as much for the quality of its natural texture as its sustainable credentials. Repurposed packaging wood destined for scrap was sourced for most of the interior construction, a triumph of green design. Though Gurgaon’s La Leona salon may ostensibly seem a small-scale project, in a country struggling to address wanton waste and excessive pollution, any environmental initiative is a significant victory.
Of his practice’s work on the La Leona project, Fantome states, “It is versatile, a lot of the material choices are sustainable ones and you won’t see a space like this in Delhi. It sort of typifies our attitude to design and projects.”
The Henri Fantome Office for Architecture (HFOA) is a design consultancy based in New Delhi, India. The practice focuses on an economy of materials to achieve a quality standard of refined, efficient design. HFOA’s architectural philosophy endeavours to facilitate a dialogue between humanity and the world at large, in exploring the potential of the built environment.