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Golden School Awards: Facilities Finalist

Golden School Awards: Facilities Finalist

AACS is proud to announce the finalist of the Facilities Golden School Award, Aveda Institute Columbus.

A great school facility merges the duality of its two consumers, the student and the guest. It should successfully operate as a place for students to learn and grow, and is a fully functional, attractive salon/spa that is comfortable for guests. It should mimic a salon/spa to prepare students for the professional environment they will be in after graduation, with the same tools and equipment they will use. The space should be designed to give students the professional techniques they need and business-building skills to create successful entrepreneurs in hair, skin, nail, esthetics, makeup, and total body wellness.

Aveda Institute Columbus strived to create a thoughtful and highly functional design to enhance the student, guest, and team member experience. They operate at a high standard for environmental and community care that demonstrates authenticity to the Aveda mission. In 2017, they merged two locations near the campus of Ohio State University into one 19,000 square foot institute. The new location came with many benefits, including being under one roof and unlimited parking for our students, team, and guests.

The biggest challenge when designing a cosmetology school is combining a luxurious upscale experience for our guests with a top-notch educational facility. Aveda Institute Columbus spent a significant amount of time planning the functionality of our school. With a vast program to work through, they were strategic in circulation and how the spaces interacted and functioned independently. While Aveda Institute Columbus put a lot of thought into creating the best design for the guest experience, their institute primarily functions as a place of learning. For that reason, they focused on equipping our facility with state-of-the-art technology to allow students to learn in a digital environment. All areas of the facility are wi-fi enabled, and the student curriculum is delivered by iPad. Technology is used at every opportunity to enhance the student experience.

The facility features flat-screen HDTVs in all classrooms and throughout all clinic spaces. The TVs are positioned for advanced hands-on learning and converted to advertising vehicles for guests when not used for educational purposes. Students who study at Aveda Institute Columbus have the opportunity to learn in an actual salon/spa environment complete with a diverse clientele. Guests who enter the institute might not even realize they’re at a school. You walk into a retail area, just like a salon, and that’s where you’re greeted. Take a walk through their space.

Aveda Institute Columbus brought in Longboard paneling in a bamboo finish to the exterior storefront to provide the backdrop for our sign. Longboard is made from lightweight extruded aluminum (over 30% lighter than steel). Aluminum is one of the most recycled and recyclable materials on the market today, reinforcing the Aveda environmental mission. The Aveda Institute Columbus includes a retail center for Aveda hair, skin, makeup, and lifestyle products, allowing students to practice client service and retailing skills. Upon entering, guests are greeted by warm bamboo flooring, bright retail fixtures, and a color palette consisting of earth tones punctuated by bright color, all accented by strategic lighting. Lighting clouds hang from the industrial ceiling to create a sense of intimacy within the space. Check-in at the sleek cash wrap consisting of a mix of cold-rolled steel, glass, and wood.

This urban modern space is clean and minimal yet warm and inviting. As guests leave the retail area and enter the student salon floor, notice the unique stained concrete flooring that travels throughout the space. Bright white modern hanging pendants light the way down the salon floor corridor. To create smaller, more intimate settings, the salon floor is divided into three sections. The comfortable hair stations are modern and sleek stainless steel. In the middle of the salon floor is a custom-designed color bar, easily accessible from all areas. Each station includes an erasable station graphic that allows the student, educator, and guest to understand the desired outcome and the benchmarks associated with each service.

The anticipated time of service, educator evaluation checkpoints, complimentary services to be received, product recommendations, and rebooking recommendations are all visually communicated clearly and concisely. A point of difference is Aveda Institute Columbus’ state-of-the-art shampoo & rejuvenation room located in the middle of the salon floor. Closed off with glass doors on each of the two entrances, the room remains a peaceful sanctuary with glossy blue tile, soft light, and relaxing music to transport guests to a state of calm. Enjoy services while lying down on their custom-designed shampoo beds. The space also includes custom-designed cabinetry for the back bar and other storage.

Directly off the shampoo room is a cozy rejuvenation space dedicated to complimentary neck and shoulder massages for guests. After completing hair services, shift from the energy and excitement of the salon floor and enter the relaxing student spa oasis. Wait for spa services in a quiet space flanked by tile walls, warm neutrals, and outfitted with comfortable furniture. Spa services are performed in one of ten private spa rooms. A separate spa dispense is located next to the spa rooms for easy access to products and tools. A spa classroom off the spa floor can be used for classes or can transition to a guest spa when needed.

The circulation design of the facility was essential in planning. All rooms flow seamlessly from space to space. A shared office for guest services and the education team is located beside the retail cash wrap and right off the clinic floor with entrances from each side. Admissions and financial aid offices are adjacent to the entrance and conference room (Dream Studio) to accommodate appointments and tours. These spaces are located beside the student hair floor with full storefront windows for potential students to watch the daily activity. The rejuvenation room and color bar are placed in the middle of the hair floor, easily accessed from either side of the salon floor. Non-guest areas like classrooms, a dedicated student lunch room, laundry, and other offices are sectioned together with easy access to the salon floor and spa. Aveda Institute Columbus has a dedicated makeup classroom outfitted with specifications from MUD (Make-up Designory) to provide students with a rigorous education in the intricacies of professional make-up artistry for film, television, fashion, theatre, and retail. Eco-minded students attracted to the Aveda mission are also interested in our commitment to the environment.

Their facilities feature high-efficiency lighting, recycling programs, and low-flow faucets. The beauty industry is a feel-good industry. Aveda Institute Columbus wants their students, team, and guests to feel amazing and inspired in our environment. Retention is the name of the game in our business—if you feel great somewhere, you will return again and again.

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