Aesop San Francisco Centre

Aesop San Francisco store interior

Muted and monochromatic, the space is a graceful referential of the Victorian manors that line the hilly streets of San Francisco.

Aesop San Francisco Centre is situated in the city’s downtown near Union Square, neighboring the San Francisco MoMA, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the Yerba Buena Gardens. Created by Aesop’s in-house Design Department, the space calls to mind the Victorian architecture which lines the hilly city streets.

The 480 square-foot space draws its influence from the Haas–Lilienthal House, one of San Francisco’s largest Victorian manors and the only one that doubles as a full-time museum. The space abstracts the architectural articulation of the Haas–Lilienthal in a graceful referential. In colors of muted green-gray, the walls take on a monochrome and shade specific to that of the house’s original.

Borrowing the horizontal vocabulary of the cornices and shingles typical of Victorian exteriors, the walls read from left to right before they read vertically. Reduced to the clean lines of its component parts, the compartmentalization of the shelving finds a sense of familiarity in its organization. Adjacent these horizontal volumes, the point-of-sale and basin conjoin on a stone island, centering the store. The result is a space of subtly, elegance, and domesticity.

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