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Polarity shows its chops at Melbourne’s hippest hair salon.

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Polarity shows its chops at Melbourne’s hippest hair salon.

For fifteen years, the Joey Scandizzo Salon in Melbourne’s upmarket South Yarra has been a magnet for actors, models, WAGS and more recently, the influencer set.  Its perpetual ‘backstage at the runway shows’ energy, combined with multi-award-winning scissor skills (note to self, book well ahead) meant the salon’s interior was due for a beauty update itself.  Plans were afoot, then the pandemic and its resultant lockdown presented the perfect opportunity to press fast-forward for Scandizzo and his architect of choice, Pete Kennon of Studio Kennon, who had previously created a meticulously elegant yet sturdy home for the Scandizzo family.

Located within the stately 19th century Italianate former State Savings Bank, its exterior is freshly cloaked in a dramatic all-black paint finish.  The entry point for the salon experience acknowledges the increasing importance of ‘me-time’, and has been curated with customer comfort and experience top of mind.

The supremely elegant new interior takes its cues from the buildings existing heritage fabric – the loftiest of ceilings, ornate plaster cornicing and deep window sills.  However, the materiality choices for the project were to be rigorously tested, as they not only had to look the goods, but also be able to withstand the obvious practical perils of daily salon life.

“We selected Fibonacci Stone’s Polarity for two reasons,” says Pete Kennon, Principal at Studio Kennon.  “Firstly, the stone has a playful colour mixture that alleviated the risk of hair dye being dropped and marking the floors and tables.  We tried many different materials, and this product was the only one on which you couldn’t notice a blotch of hair dye.”  A secondary, but also wildly practical reasoning helped inform Studio Kennon’s choice.  “Given we were in the middle of a pandemic, we needed a material that we knew, trusted and that was available.  Having worked with Michael and Fibonacci Stone before made this an easy decision,” says Kennon.

From this combination of aesthetics and practicalities, Polarity was featured extensively in the redesign.  Floors, banquette seating, a custom front desk and even a bespoke rounded client consultation table have been given the Polarity treatment, which, combined with repeated archways and warm lighting result in a seamlessly feminine and elegant scheme that belies its practical chops.

“It’s yet another outstanding project delivered by Studio Kennon,” says Michael Karakolis, Creative Director at Fibonacci Stone.  “Great design is felt and Pete has really captured that in this project with a truly sophisticated balance of bold shape and subtle materiality.”

Photography by Timothy Kaye