Our second Yokahama signature store was born of a long-standing partnership with Japanese architecture firm SIMPLICITY under the leadership of Shinichiro Ogata. Housed in one of the iconic buildings of the Minato Mirai waterfront development, a significant 1980s urban regeneration project and now a lively commercial district, it is a meditation on its port-side location and the particularity of ocean-based trade.
The interior is read as a collection of planar surfaces, their angular interfaces animated by shifts in tone and materiality. Storefront framing is clad in mortar, offset by the aged brass lettering of the Aesop logo. Inside, the cool neutrality of the façade is also manifest in the glossy finish of the side walls.
Exotic goods brought in by marine commerce are represented by white marble used for the demonstration sink. Rows of product along the rear wall appear to float on walls and shelves of deep sea-blue—a reflective expanse suggestive of the harbour’s watery depths.
‘It is not the going out of port, but the coming in, that determines the success of a voyage.’