Australian skincare brand, Aesop has opened its latest store in Chelsea's Duke of York Square. Designed alongside Snøhetta, the store interiors have been inspired by the exhilarating scenes of classic James Bond films, and takes advantage of capacious dimensions to create dramatic, clearly defined forms and contrasts in materials.
Walls of earthen render washed in pale rose are a nod to the masonry prevalent in this part of the city, and provide an earthy, textured element, with materiality and colour palette shifting from rough to smooth and light to dark respectively.
An existing column stands central in the space, anchoring 12 silhouette-like arches that curve up and across to the store's perimeter. These sweeping structures create zones of intimacy around a large circular demonstration sink, 4.2m in diameter, which seems to hover in the space, inviting visitors to experience an Aesop product consultation. The sink is edged by a shallow reflective pool. During the night, light is reflected off the water and shimmers on the walls.
Fine steel lines set in the concrete floor mirror the arches and subdivide the surface into smaller, geometric components, marrying utilitarian metal and rough cement.