View of Aesop North Bridge interior, featuring counter, products, and stony wall face.

Frosted sanctuary within an urban center

Aesop’s North Bridge store sits within the sprawling urban shops of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue. The company’s in-house Design Department turned towards Chicago’s sure winter and its relationship with Lake Michigan for inspiration. ‘Michigan’ comes from the Ojibwe word ‘mishigamaa’: great water. An untreated aluminium door pivots asymmetrically, ushering inwards and reflecting light. The space extends upwards to a dappled, vertical void. Two sheer walls, embedded within one another, wrap around softly, creating a precipitous sanctuary within the retail center. Recessed aluminium shelves follow the arc. Sprayed-in-place recycled paper fibre superimposes a frosted texture on the walls while buffering the ambiance. A glacial concrete floor supports solid concrete sinks. Downlights skate, skim, glide across the ceiling, marking whimsical tracks.

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‘If we had not winter, the spring would not be so pleasant...’

Anne Bradstreet