520 North Michigan Avenue, Level 1, Chicago, IL 60611
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.
‘If we had not winter, the spring would not be so pleasant...’