Aesop Ngee Ann City store interior

Typically used as a retaining wall to prevent erosion, flooding, and noise pollution, the gabion—from the Italian gabbione, big cage—becomes a strong yet slender and porous façade and wall surface for the store.

Our in-house design team redefines the traditional gabion structure of caged rocks at Takashimaya Shopping Centre in Ngee Ann City, Singapore. Typically used as a retaining wall to prevent erosion, flooding, and noise pollution, the gabion— from the Italian gabbione, big cage—becomes a strong yet slender and porous façade and wall surface for the store.

Weathered red rockstone weaves and stacks within a steel grille envelope, articulating a language of asymmetrical solids and voids. One’s journey into the sheltered store is softened by flickering shadows and glimpses through the gabions. The mineral infill summons the legend of the Singapore Stone, a fragment of an inscribed sandstone slab that was thrown into the Singapore River around the fourteenth century.

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‘The river runs not past, but through us.’

Walt Whitman