This historic precinct has successively been home to religious orders, nobility and artisans, and was thankfully preserved from Haussmann’s overhaul of Paris. Today, it displays beautiful buildings in narrow streets, and hosts many excellent cafés and museums. We could not have dreamt of better neighbours when we opened our third Paris signature store on Rue Vieille du Temple.
Aesop Le Marais is a light, minimalist room of polished concrete. Windows on the rear wall allow light to flood the interior, and offer a glimpse of lush greenery in the courtyard. A key design element is the integration of 427 small polished steel dishes within the walls, an acknowledgement of the industrial history of this part of Paris.
The dishes are, in fact, the curved ‘lids’ which seal the pipes used as plumbing throughout the city. This material—cold to touch, yet catching warm light, aesthetically pleasing yet functional—extends a subtle lyricism that encourages visitors not only to browse, but also to linger.