Aesop’s Melbourne Outpost Oozes Warmth Through Restraint

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.PSLAB and Kerstin Thompson Architects’ latest concept store for the Australian cosmetics brand achieves a welcoming sense of intimacy despite a resolutely minimalist sensibility.

Like Aesop’s other concept spaces, the new Melbourne boutique is intimate and visually calm, an effect achieved through scale and a very deliberate use of materials. Aesop’s design team worked with local firm on the interior fixtures and surfaces – a composition of smooth planes made from richly hued spotted gum timber.

This sustainably sourced hardwood ply was used to cover the walls, floors and custom display casework – two counters that dominate the shop’s floor – as well as the distinctive perforated panels on the shop front, interior walls and ceiling. During business hours, these screens are pulled back to frame the entrance, and at close are closed like shutters.

of Beirut, in its first foray onto the Australian continent, developed the boutique’s lighting concept, designed to enhance the feeling of warmth and intimacy and create a palpable contract with the brightly lit concourse outside. Using a custom system of fitted brackets. .PSLAB mounted all lighting fixtures directly to the perforated ply ceiling, including an array of unobtrusive LED projectors.

Decorative scoop-shaped pendants in black, with are copper-toned reflective interiors, highlight the display areas; this coppery sheen not only warms the temperature of the light it casts, but also complements the few fixtures in the space – the finishing touch that unifies the space, and resonates with Aesop’s other retail spaces around the world.

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