Aesop Kobe BAL store facade

Uniform materiality in matte porcelain

Our first store in the flourishing hub of Kobe is situated in Kobe BAL retail centre. It was designed in partnership with Tokyo practice Torafu Architects, which has also worked on numerous other Aesop spaces.

The stone façades of the city’s nineteenth-century Western-style buildings effect a nostalgic atmosphere, which inspired selection of pale, high-quality porcelain tile as primary material here. Its dominance ensures a smooth, uniform composition, in which a curved wall rises from the floor to envelop the interior. Minute variations in pigmentation diffuse light to add tonal variations and a sense of depth.

A large central unit houses both point-of-sale and demonstration sink; materially continuous to the floor, it allows for a dynamic flow to emerge in harmony with the lines of the containing walls. Its weathered copper top provides an appealing contrast to the matte finish of the tiles, and is complemented by tapware rising elegantly from the base of the sink.

Slideshow links - for visual effect only:
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‘Throw open your window and let the scenery of clouds and sky enter your room.’

Yosa Buson