Aesop SOGO Hsinchu store interior

During Taiwan’s Japanese colonial period, in the early twentieth century, a new civic architecture emerged. Known as Brick Eclecticism, historic Japanese tiles were used in conjunction with classical revival styles.

During Taiwan’s Japanese colonial period, in the early twentieth century, a new civic architecture emerged. Known as Brick Eclecticism, historic Japanese tiles were used in conjunction with classical revival styles. Aesop HsinChu, located in the Sogo Big City retail centre and designed in-house, recalls this architectural history in its repeating geometric forms.

The store’s stepped façade reduces the scale of the entrance to one of domestic humility. Internally, the tiered design plays on horizontal and vertical planes that become places to experience and muse on Aesop products. The ridges continue up the wall, over the ceiling, inverting a ziggurat form.

Taiwan’s natural silica sand resource and artisan glass recycling techniques provided material prompts for the design. Brown glass pebbles, made from one hundred percent recycled material, are set into a cement mortar that coats the store, establishing a contemporary connection to the streets of HsinChu.

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