Varnish Lab is a nail salon located in the heart of the new Runway Development in Playa Vista. It has the ability to transform into an event space for private parties and movie theater related events. The salon contains 18 pedicure seats and a manicure bar that can accommodate 8. In the back, behind an oak clad volume is the back of house and a waxing room.
The strategy was to fill the tall, linear shell space with sizeable, geometrically recognizable pieces that have a strong presence, even from the exterior. Pink paint, one of the colors of the brand, unifies a number of pieces with the floor of the manicure area delineating that zone as if dipped in varnish. The linear pedicure seating across is clad in a fabric in the other color of the brand.
Rather than have pedicure stations look at each other as is common, all the seating is arranged similar to the seating of a Parisian street cafe: facing in the direction of public activity. Clients can observe the lively promenade of the salon: people checking in, activity at the manicure bar, the ceremonial-like procession of technicians carrying water.
Above the seating is a linear installation of 50 convex transparencies in the red spectrum. This is as much a reference to the multicolored displays of nail polish as it is to the film industry that surrounds the salon. The films are bowed light filters commonly used to change the hues of light on film sets.