Aesop International Market Place entrance

An essay in the vernacular of tropical modernism

Created in collaboration with long-term collaborators Mlkk, Aesop International Market Place is characterised by relaxed materiality and a fluid dialogue between exterior and interior. Situated in a lively, semi-open retail hub in Honolulu’s Waikiki, its design is an essay in the vernacular of tropical modernism.

The space is split into three distinct zones—an outdoor foyer; a hybrid retail floor, at once indoors and out; and a semi-enclosed back-of-house; each separated by articulated screens of wood-framed glass. Transparent and flexible, they can be adjusted to open or enclose the space dependent on the rhythms of the retail centre.

Douglas Fir timber reclaimed from a 1950s structure on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor defines much of the space, utilised in the ceiling, screens, and counter carpentry.


‘Over trackless past, somewhere, lie the lost days of our tropic youth.’

Bret Harte