Aesop Greenbelt at Ayala Center heralds our entry into the Philippines. Created with longstanding collaborators Mlkk Studio, the store pays homage to the site’s architectural history as the Ayala Museum, which was designed by Leandro Locsin in the 1960s. Locsin’s floating forms are referenced in the levitating volumes that emerge from the centre’s homogenous façade—a series of voids and alcoves open up around them. In the spirit of Brutalism’s honesty of expression, the approach for this store was to reveal the distinction between framework and insertion.
A cantilevered mass lowers the threshold into the store; inside, the ceiling flares upwards, morphing the sense of compression into one of expansiveness. As one moves through the space, unexpected vantage points become clear while other lines of sight become obstructed. Concrete counters and basins poured in-situ are lined with locally sourced Perlato Royale marble, whose dusty greys and beiges inform the store’s material palette.
‘All things want to float.’