Aesop Store in Fitzroy, Melbourne by Clare Cousins Architects | Yellowtrace

Aesop Store in Fitzroy, Melbourne by Clare Cousins Architects | Yellowtrace

Aesop Store in Fitzroy, Melbourne by Clare Cousins Architects | Yellowtrace

Aesop Store in Fitzroy, Melbourne by Clare Cousins Architects | Yellowtrace

Aesop Store in Fitzroy, Melbourne by Clare Cousins Architects | Yellowtrace

 

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.

 

See other Aesop stores on Yellowtrace here.

 

Aesop Store in Fitzroy, Melbourne by Clare Cousins Architects | Yellowtrace

Aesop Store in Fitzroy, Melbourne by Clare Cousins Architects | Yellowtrace

Aesop Store in Fitzroy, Melbourne by Clare Cousins Architects | Yellowtrace

Aesop Store in Fitzroy, Melbourne by Clare Cousins Architects | Yellowtrace

Aesop Store in Fitzroy, Melbourne by Clare Cousins Architects | Yellowtrace

 

+ Your favourite thing about this project?

It was lovely to be able to revisit this project 10 years after the first space we designed. Aesop Fitzroy was one of our first retail projects and while we don’t typically undertake retail projects these days, there was an emotional connection to this project. The original design explored the ready-made, utilising proprietary plywood boxes to create display systems. The recently refreshed space explores the familiarity of domestic memories.

+ Most challenging aspect?

Aesop Fitzroy is a neighbourhood store, therefore it is important the new design retains a sense of community within the street. The design is sentimental and nostalgic and there is a sense that it has been there for some time.

+ What did you learn during the project?

The luxury of time allows the design to evolve and develop from an original concept.

+ Would you have done anything differently?

We may have increased the intensity of the pink tinted glass window to make it more prevalent, however it’s legibility changes throughout the day depending on the natural light from the courtyard.

+ Any interesting/ funny/ quirky facts you could share with us?

The Saturday Paper is sold in-store on the weekend for the convenience of locals.
Fitzroy was Melbourne’s first suburb and has Melbourne’s oldest surviving terrace house in same street (Gertrude Street).

 

See other Aesop stores on Yellowtrace here.

 


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

 

About The Author

Fenina Acance
Contributor

Architecting away in Melbourne, Fenina is a shameless fashion, art and design fanatic who loves defying the relentless Melbournian uniform of black on black on black. Often spotted strutting a boisterous mix of pattern and colour, her eclectic love for the bold, raw and textured fuels her passion for design and contemporary art. When not indulging in Cy Twombly’s sensitive scribbles or Serra’s evocative sculptural forms, her love for everything Italian consumes the rest of her time. Whether it’s the language, design or food (especially food), Fenina is obsessed!

One Response

Leave a Reply