For Aesop, an Australian skincare brand celebrating its 25th year anniversary this year, we proposed an interior fit-out located at Yokohama Bay Quarter. Concurrent to this, we also designed Aesop Shin-Marunouchi, which opened at the same time. Aesop’s skincare products emphasise on maintenance to restore the skin’s natural health, and in a similar way we had chosen a key material that reflects this idea for the two stores. OSB (Oriented Strand Board) is a wood which has characteristic textures and patterns, and of which are accentuated once sanded and stained in different ways.
While associated as a rough material typically used in construction, as it is stained the wood adopts a stone-like appearance. The result is a distinct materiality which be felt throughout the store space. In order to contrast with the busy surroundings, the existing façade for Aesop Yokohama Bay Quarter was given a simple dark green finish. Immediately upon entering the walls become a light green while white-stained OSB is used throughout, softening the shop interior. Yokohama Bay Quarter is frequented more by families than Shin-Marunouchi, so it was important for us to design a comfortable space that people can easily to enter into.
In the foreground of the shops are stand-alone functional counters that allow the shop space to be freely circulated. Small stores require an efficient use of space, so the activities essential to the shop’s operation have been carefully considered and housed into the ‘floating’ boxes to assist in operational processes. We thought about how the volumes of these counters can be opened at various parts when required, and eventually closed back into a simple box.
Even located within a large commercial building, we have focused on how we can clearly reflect Aesop’s brand image into these stores.Location: Yokohama Bay Quarter, Japan Architect: Torafu Architects Principle use: SHOP
Credit: Graphic design: Aesop
Building site: Yokohama Bay Quarter ANNEX, Yokohama, Kanagawa
Total floor area: 23.27m2
Design period: 2012.02-2012.06
Construction period: 2012.06
Photo: Takumi Ota