Aesop Marylebone store interior

A sense of history and enduring presence

Situated on Marylebone High Street, in a borough whose alumni include Charles Dickens, T.S. Eliot, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon, this signature store is the result of a collaboration with Paris- and London-based architects Studio KO. The pared-back space celebrates the local streetscape, urban history and bones of the original building by exploring textures and monochromy.

Our excavations revealed hidden windows, a fireplace and coal store; these have been left intact out of respect for the original space. The floor, which has lived many lives, has been simply restored and sealed, moss growing through where one plank is missing.

Close to the entrance, a moulded raw concrete basin greets visitors as they arrive; to the left, a stairwell descends into a cellar storeroom, and Pear Wood shelving lines the brick wall. The shelves’ ladder-like configuration suggests a refined scaffold, and contrasts with the saturated matte musk-toned pigment of the brick walls.

‘There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart.’

Charles Dickens