Austin’s Coated Nail Salon inspiring new standards in design

By: CTA In The News
13 April 2018

CTA designers partnered with the owners of Coated Nail Salon of Austin, TX, on brand development, architecture, and engineering for their new nail salon concept. One of the requirements was to maintain 100% fresh air, even at a distance of six inches from freshly-painted nails, with “at-the-source” ventilation. In order to achieve this, exhaust air could not be recirculated in a traditional manner.

For both aesthetic and operational reasons, the Coated team did not want to pursue a standard layout of placing guest chairs on raised platforms with ventilation pointing frontward. Accepting the design challenge, CTA’s multi-disciplinary team pioneered a solution including the design of a chase wall behind the client seating area, with individual units capturing fumes and venting them through the roof. Because the building only had access to fresh air via the front façade, louvers connected to the intake unit became part of the design concept for the storefront entry, which enabled fresh air intake ventilation to travel up three stories and through the roof. This unique HVAC system is the first of its kind among Austin salons!

Ceiling elements were hung above the reception area and perimeter chairs to conceal mechanical equipment, allowing the space to remain open, airy, and comfortable. Eager to hear and share the story, visit Coated’s project capsule in our Retail portfolio.


“CTA was excited to work with a business like Coated, one that has a vision for distinguishing itself and taking exceptional care of its guests and staff. Our team saw the clean air requirement as an opportunity to execute thoughtful integrated design between engineering and architecture. We are proud to serve our client with these custom solutions and to create a healthier environment for building occupants.”

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