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Creative Space

Location, light, learning. The new 11,000-square-foot Matrix Global Academy in New York City offers stylists and salon owners alike a personalized, inspirational approach to education. Created in conjunction with Gensler Architects, one of the top architectural firms in the country, the academy houses a lounge, training area, concept salon, modular stage, retail/merchandising space and administrative offices, all designed with the latest in technology and the ultimate in flexibility. "The Global Academy is a concrete example of Matrix's commitment to stylists and salon owners, providing the inspiration that will enable each to transform his or her passion for beauty into personal success," says Francesca Raminella, Matrix U.S. vice president-general manager. Here's a look at what makes the space special.

Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the entry space with light
Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the entry space with light

Location. Long associated with the creative arts, Greenwich Village offers all the excitement of New York City with the comfortable feel of a close-knit neighborhood. Housed in a 68-year-old building at 435 Hudson Street, the academy is surrounded by brownstones and cafés. "The Matrix Global Academy mirrors the community," says creative director Gary Glossman. "It's a perfect combination of positive energy in a friendly environment to bring together stylists who have traveled from all corners of the world to take classes here." Light. A beautiful loft space with 20-foot ceilings, the academy features floor-to-ceiling windows. A total of 600 individual windowpanes —all replaced during the renovation—retain the charm of the original intricate grid pattern. With the northeast exposure, light abounds, and the street-level access allows passersby to see the full retail display and nine-screen video wall of Matrix images.

 The reception desk features multicolor high-output LED lights; the test salon
The reception desk features multicolor high-output LED lights; the test salon

Learning. The academy's training area has the flexibility (via movable wall partitions) to accommodate a theater/runway-style production for 125 stylists or three separate classrooms. To optimize space when using mannequins, the architects devised a single removable pole to be placed in a preset hole in the floor. The top of the pole holds the mannequin's head; the midpoint of the pole houses a tray for tools. This eliminates the traditional mannequin tripods and separate rolling trays.

 The test salon
The test salon

The academy offers 110 courses averaging one to three days at $500 per course. The curriculum will be all-encompassing for all skill levels, with classes ranging from cut to color, styling to texture, trends to business.

"Our mission is to touch stylists in a personal way, and the new academy lets us do just that," says Matrix vice president of education Paul Smith. "It's an intimate, inviting space." For more information, visit www.matrix.com envision, or call (917) 606-9500.

What a difference a year makes: the space, pre-renovation
What a difference a year makes: the space, pre-renovation
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About the Author

Robbin McClain

Robbin McClain