The design for Singapore’s Aesop ION Orchard, created in partnership with Snøhetta, commemorates Orchard Road’s original incarnation as a nutmeg plantation. Inspired by this obscured past, and an underground location, the studio created an upside-down forest.
A dark ceiling references the orchard floor, complemented by sisal carpet in the same rich tone. Thin timber battens hang from the ceiling, forming walls that curve throughout the space like tree trunks in a grove. Selected battens are suspended in isolation in the centre, with horizontal ‘branches’ fixed to the stems acting as product display.
Exposed walls are pink, reminiscent of the colour of mace, the other spice harvested from the nutmeg fruit. A connection with nearby Aesop Raffles City is established through the use of brass in functional elements such as the sales counter and sink—the metal’s lustre enhanced by overhead lighting.
‘Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished.’