The new RUSH Academy is no ordinary place: it’s a melting pot of stimulating design that is sure to inspire all those who pay a visit. Situated in Covent Garden, the heart of London’s most exciting cultural area, the location is the perfect fit for such a visionary hair academy as this.
Raw plasterwork, exposed brick walls, stone flooring, a bold metal staircase and bespoke metal gates sit alongside a distressed laboratory table with old school chairs and lighting by leading British designer Tom Dixon. The fabric of the building provided the blueprint for the design, key examples are the underground arches where the six backwashes and bespoke colour bar are situated and the glass partitions which create the light and bright classroom space, which can accommodate 40 students.
Walking into the Academy is like walking into a contemporary art gallery. Stell Andrew, co-founder and joint CEO of RUSH Hair, who designed the Academy used contemporary graffiti art work to fuse with the raw materials to create a space that really is like no other. In the break-out areas attendees can sit at an old laboratory table and be inspired by the collection of contemporary British artwork the RUSH Academy houses.
From every angle there is something exceptional, individual and unique to look at. “I am inspired by graffiti artists – creatives that can be anonymous and break the rules and who often end up in some of the greatest art galleries in the world next to a Picasso,” explains Stell. “I like using opposites to create something beautiful. Street Art inspires me. They were once the underdogs and rebels of the art world, marching to their own beat and working without restraints or restrictions to create something truly inspirational.”
The reception desk is made from steel and 100-year-old planks of oak, old school chairs feature in the breakout areas with graffiti art depicting Elvis, Jimi Hendrix and Sid Vicious by street artist Paul Insect on the exposed brick walls. You will be drawn into the larger than life urban artwork from Matt Small, who has painted this bold absorbing piece directly onto old fridge doors. Exposed ducting adds to the utilitarian feel of the building. “I am also inspired by architects and architecture,” continues Stell. “I especially love the work of John Soane, who was one of the greatest neo-classical architects of all time, Building the Bank of England and re-building three houses in Lincoln’s Inn Field, which now form the Sir John Soane Museum. Two opposing cultures and inspirations from different centuries, but for me it is the opposites that attract and inspire me.”
Lighting is very important in the Academy and the spectacular chandelier by British designer Tom Dixon is contemporary and at the same time makes quite a statement. Concrete styling positions add a harder edge to the classroom areas and continue the theme of utilising raw material, which is represented throughout the academy.