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.

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

Bret Harte