Clare Cousins Architects have returned to renovate the Aesop Fitzroy store which explores nostalgic domestic ritual. Having completed the original design 10 years ago, the new fit out became their second opportunity to revisit the requirements of the much loved local brand. According to Cousins, “the store’s finely detailed design is an ode to the history of its location in Melbourne’s first suburb.”
Located on the vibrant but ever changing Gertrude Street, Aesop offers a welcome sense of calm. The original understated shop front remains and the existing shell is sparingly altered retaining original steel windows, steel beams and rustic concrete slab. Upon entering, visitors are immersed in muted hues, subdued lighting, robust fixtures a refined material palette.
Inspired by the humble laundry trough, the space features large insitu-cast concrete vessels that are fitted with aged brass tapware that reference Fitzroy’s early blacksmith industry. The hand painted soft green cabinetry is elevated on slender legs and displays the amber bottles in a rhythmic fashion.
Perforations within doors allow Aesop’s signature scent to permeate the space. Beyond the point of sale, blush pink hues peek through the ribbons of silicon that form the curtain that divide the space. “Ideas of domestic rituals are abstracted through the exclusive use of blush pink, complete with Italian ‘Rosa Salmonato’ marble bench top, a hearth and functional kitchenette with integrated burner and sink.” This pink, joyous corner of the store completely envelops you and offers a sensorial and emotive experience. The design opens itself to the public and welcomes a dialogue between the store, passerby, staff and customer. This carefully crafted environment pays homage to domestic rituals and aptly reflects Aesop’s contemplative persona.
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