Design Crushes-Aesop, Stockholm
AESOP, a respectful response to function and setting.
It's been quite a while now, since I first stumbled upon Aesop cosmetics store. For those of you who don't know or haven't heard of the Australian brand, Aesop offers skin, hair and body care products-"formulations created with meticulous attention to detail, and with efficacy and sensory pleasure in mind". And while their cosmetics is a class act in their field, what grabbed my attention, were the astonishing interior spaces that accommodate the tiny, little bottles of goodness. And like every passionate and truly and unconditionally in love with design, designer, I am crushing here (I hope that's a thing, actually). Aesops' spaces are built with such craftsmanship, thought through with such precision, that one can not help but dream to inhabit them. The colours, the textures, the forms, the stories behind the stores, the concepts and the unbelievably polite staff. So nice, honestly, they make you tea and take time to talk and pass on their values to anyone genuinely interested in the brand.
I've had this experience when I visited Aesop's stores in Stockholm. It was such a delight to freely speak to someone as passionate about their job. In this post I will show you the three stores I visited and hopefully you get inspired the same way I did.
Nytorgsgatan 36, 116 40 Stockholm
One thing that is truly important about the design of their locations is to consider the work that already exists. It is Aesop's intention to weave into the fabric of place and add something of merit rather than impose a discordant presence. This particular store is located in the SoFo district of Stockholm. It occupies an old 1930s house with a slatted-wooden facade, which provided the starting point for the design.
The beautiful features of the space are the master work of studio "In praise of shadows". The atmosphere created is of peace and calmness, with respect to the existing building. The materials used are typically found in Swedish handicraft, including warm-coloured alder wood and vegetable-tanned leather from Tärnsjö. Brass shelving units curve to match the dips of the wall, leather-topped bench is tucked within a niche towards the back of the store. The sales counter, a blocky alder wood, a visual centrepiece. It integrates a demonstration sink made from enamelled metal, which happens to be an important fixture in all the Australian brand's stores.
Find more about the store on Dezeen.
Jakobsbergsgatan 9, 111 44 Stockholm
Aesop Bibliotekstan, or another masterpiece by studio "In praise of shadows". The store features pale oak floorboards that contrast with the roughly hewn elm fittings. The warm beige plasterwork and the range of wood finishes aim to create a "rich tactile experience".
Large blocks of gnarled elm wood form the sales counter, bench and sink. The pieces, were dissected from the trunk of a diseased tree felled from Stockholm's Djurgården National Park."The contrast of the timber's controlled shape and uncontrolled structure is very important to us. The drama lies in the contrast." the architects say.
Find more about the store on Dezeen.
In praise of shadows, by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki.
AESOP MALL OF SCANDINAVIA
Stjärntorget 2, 169 79 Solna
Aesop's third store in Stockholm is located in the Mall of Scandinavia, by Swdish design studio Guise. Signature elements that create the atmosphere of a small retreat, a sanctuary, a hideaway from the busy and crowded reality of the shopping centre.
I guess now you see where my fascination comes from. Naturally the goal is to visit all of the Aesop stores around the world and share them here with you. So stay tuned for more very soon!