Aesop Tokyo

As I mentioned a few months ago, Aesop was in the process of opening a store in Japan… On the 7th of December, they proudly opened the doors to their very first signature store in Tokyo, located on the Ground Floor of the Asada building in Minami-Aoyama. And from what I hear, it has not failed to impress (yet again)!

At first glance the store looks understated yet there is a certain strength in the essence of the design. For me, the reason is due to the powerful story that lies behind this particular store. When you walk into the store, it smells faintly of Japanese cedar. Local architect, Jo Nagasaka has used the wooden materials of an old abandoned house, the Murazawa residence in Nakano-ku, throughout the store to make it a functional yet poetic space that draws on the history of that area. Nagasaka managed to rescue an old medicine cabinet from the same house and has used it to display the balm testers at the entrance to the store. An epoxy coating has been implemented for the concrete floor to give the customer the impression that they are walking on water and the same coating has been used for the bench tops as well. I find the way in which Ngasaka has tied the materials so seamlessly together with the aesthetic of the building quite beautiful.

For me, I personally love taking an old article and recreating it into something new (almost reinventing it). There is a certain charm to a moment when people look at something familiar in a new light. I’m sure that a project like this would have brought its fare share of technical challenges as well, especially incorporating both old and new materials. This stunning space is as a result of a successful collaboration between Jo Nagasaka & Aesop’s very own Director Dennis Paphitis.

I’ve tried to do further research into the architect and the seamstress house but I think it will require some digging… I did come across another one of his projects called ‘Paco’ (a concept box), which I will share on a later post.


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