Aesop Walnut Street

Aesop Walnut Street store interior

A design born of the contrast between light and dark, history and modernity, softness and strength.

Located on the ground floor of an Art Deco tower in Rittenhouse Square, our space on Walnut Street marks a first presence for Aesop in Philadelphia. Created by our in-house Design Department, it is inspired by the city’s many paradoxes, and reflects on the contrast between light and dark, history and modernity, softness and strength.

For this new space, we looked to Philadelphia’s rich industrial heritage, the architectural flux of the 1930s, and the human scale and sensibility of an Edward Hopper painting. From these design references, a muted space of material and atmospheric oppositions emerged; one which tempers the rigidity of skyscraper typology with a more intimate experience of interior space.

A focal point in the store, panels of translucent fluted glass back shelving of black anodized aluminum, refracting light to veil rather than conceal the back of house. This modular framing also acts as a cradle for a row of basins on the eastern side of the tenancy. Backlit, the glass evinces a soft glow, illuminating the ritual of Aesop product demonstration and consultation.

The point-of-sale is built in the same solid language as the shelves, anchoring the pragmatic requirements of the space and further contrasting the soft movement imparted by the glass. A vintage pendant lamp and a Yngve Ekström F06 Lounge Chair upholstered in sage-green linen offer subtle finishing accents.

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‘It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light.’

Gilbert K. Chesterton