“Lite” green wasn’t green enough for Aveda’s first Lifestyle Salon & Spa in Italy. World-renowned hairdresser and long-time Aveda partner Fabrizio Lepri worked closely with Italian architect Matta and Excel, a local eco-friendly furnishings company, to layer the brand’s signature environmentalism throughout the design of the 2680-square-foot salon.
Housed in a building with 16th century details protected by the Institute of Belle Arti, the tri-level salon and spa has paneling made from rice paper instead of traditional methyl methacrylate. A chemical-free lime wall finish achieves a rough, uneven texture that gets a translucent sheen from non-toxic water-based paints. Recycled plastic mobile phone-covers were melted together to form the work station surfaces.
Although Aveda has experience with green building, this project stretched the usual schedule and budget. “Construction crews unused to working with these materials had problems understanding they shouldn’t be painted to look flat – that we wanted the raw material effect,” says Lepri. The cost, about $54,000, was 30 percent above the average for traditional materials, he adds. But thanks to 15 percent energy savings delivered by ample natural light and low-energy lighting, the numbers work. “Most importantly, we created a healthy environment in line with our thinking,” he says.
Lepri Lifestyle Salon & Spa, Milan