Aesop Kanazawa store interior

Elegant linearity informed by local Edo-era townhouses

Our first signature store in Kanazawa was created in partnership with Fukuoka-based firm CASE-REAL, and influenced strongly by the city’s architectural traditions. Kanazawa is known for slender Edo-era townhouses that were often occupied by artisans and merchants, and commonly featured an earthen-floored corridor leading from the streetfront to a small rear courtyard.

The designers aimed to recreate this atmosphere by giving prominence to the entry corridor, which historically offered gentle transition from the outside world to an intimate interior. Traditional pebble-washed flooring greets visitors upon entry, then gives way to mortar komo, robust straw matting customarily used to protect the earth walls from biting snow.

Against a palette of cool grey, slate and walls of textured, sand-hued paint, dark timber beams reference traditional materiality and divide the space into two elongated sections, which serve for product display and purchases respectively.

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