A Barbershop for Designophiles

A modernist architect and an old-school barber walk into a hair salon...

February 15, 2018

By Anicka Quin / Photo: Latreille Architectural Photography

When a man finds a barber he loves, he wants to get into business with him, right? At least that’s what happened for architect David Battersby of renowned modernist firm BattersbyHowat Architects. “He’s a really exceptional barber,” says Battersby of his new Dandy Barber business partner, Jordi Sancho. “I said one day, if he ever wanted to open his own shop, that I’d help finance it.”

Before turning to barbering, Sancho worked for years with restaurateur (and consummate host) John Bishop of Bishop’s restaurant, experience that translates into the level of service he offers at the Dandy, says Battersby. In addition to classic cuts, shaves and beard trims, the pair developed the Full Dandy: a slow paced haircut and a shave, scalp and face massages, aromatic oils, fresh cucumber and witch hazel finish—a kind of metro take on a spa-like facial.

Dandy Barber is housed in a former sunroom, behind the Goh Ballet on east 8th. (Photo: Latreille Architectural Photography)

While Sancho handles the barbering, Battersby converted the former hair salon (and in a past life, a sun room to the vintage home it’s a part of) into a bright and modern shop. Flooded with sun even on cloudy days, it’s naturally perfect for flattering light. “For older guys like me—I hate overhead lighting in barbershops,” laughs Battersby. “Nothing makes you feel shittier than a bunch of downlights.”

The room is designed with a simple colour palette of elm and a durable synthetic Carrera marble stone, and houses three old-school Belmont Legacy chairs were imported from Japan— “They’ve been made since the ’40s,” says Battersby. At a petite 240 square feet, every inch is maximized, with mounted storage for hair products from Australian brands Hunter (an exclusive to North America) and Kevin Murphy.

The colour palette is modern and bright, with elm wood and synthetic Carrera marble counters. (Photo: Latreille Architectural Photography)

The two of them may be a surprising business team, laughs Battersby; Sancho is more of a “rec beach, earthy kind of guy,” he says, while Battersby has made a name for himself as the clean-lined modernist that sets the high bar for many of Vancouver’s modern homes. But they plan to capitalize on their difference for their clients. “We were laughing that we have these very different visions of Vancouver,” he explains. “So we’ll be doing ‘Dandy picks’ of the city: Dave and Jordi’s things that we recommend doing and seeing in the city.”

Stay tuned to dandybarber.com for your next in-the-city weekend itinerary.

Dandy carries Hunter men’s care products, and are the only ones in North American to do so. (Photo: Latreille Architectural Photography)


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