The designers at Spaceworks have always had a natural affinity towards Aesop stores and their design philosophy, and briefly looking at their history of works, it’s hard to see how anyone wouldn’t. It was in 2004, when Aesop opened its first store in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda, that their holistic and organic approach to retail design and location was first realised.

In seeking new locations, our first consideration is always to work with what is already in place; we tread lightly with respect to the past, present and future. It is our sincere intention to weave ourselves into the fabric of the street and add something of merit rather than impose a discordant presence, and therefore our consistent practice to work with a locally relevant design vocabulary” – Aesop

An approach which considers intelligent and sustainable design extends to every aspect of Aesop’s workings, both product and space. Ultimately, it is Aesop’s unequivocal belief that well-considered design improves our lives. If we take Aesop stores as an example, it is almost impossible to argue otherwise. The original, unremarkable shop front is retained, a deliberately understated street presence, enforcing the notion of its longstanding presence in the area. The existing shell is altered sparingly, retaining original steel windows, steel beams, and the charmingly 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 in-situ 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.

If you feel the same affinity with Aesop designs as our team does, you’ll be pleased to know that Aesop has revealed a separate website completely dedicated to their stores’ designs, features, materials and the designers who made them a reality. We seriously recommend checking it out: taxonomyofdesign.com

Images courtesy of Clare Cousins Architects & Aesop. Photography by Trevor Mein.