Following a string of consecutive openings in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, Australian cosmetics brand Aesop sets up shop in Fukuoka.
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The interior has been reshaped most dramatically where there was most freedom to do so – on the ceiling plane. Here, a traditional form reminiscent of Orthodox churches and monasteries has been contemporized in ten imposing, intersecting domes, finished with matte gypsum plaster to accentuate their varying proportions.
The repetitive use of hemp fibre is a nod to the city’s historic shipping and logging industries. The material was once used to manufacture tents that housed the many loggers and fishermen. Walls are covered in quilted maritime canvas and paired with canvas-clad shelving and flooring to offer a unique sensory respite.
The controlled shape of the sales counter, sink and bench, and the material’s uncontrolled structure – all made by Hoffmann of large chunks of elm from nearby woods, and the artist’s preferred material for the past few years – reflect the suppressed strength by social norms and human relations of many of their characters.
Maintaining the elegantly modern aesthetic it is well-known for, this shop is highlighted by the color contrast of its white walls, and the slotted timber at its entrance and ceiling. Further including hand-treated perforated brass fixtures and curvy plaster shelving, the clean storefront was intentionally designed to place the spotlight on the vast range of products of sale.