An exercise in tension and balance, Aesop Luitpoldblock softens out its Brutalist sensibilities with warm tones and curved forms. The first Aesop signature store in Munich, it is tucked within historic city centre The Luitpoldblock, which has a rich heritage of trade and crafts. The interior was created in collaboration with local multidisciplinary firm einszu33, who used striking contrasts in materiality and texture to execute the design.
Centrally positioned in the main room, an oversized concrete point-of-sale counter complements a tiered concrete ceiling and screed floors; collectively, this triptych of Brutalist elements resonates with the architecture of the neighbourhood.
The tactility of the Carrara marble top and recessed marble sink offset the counter’s monolithic austerity and temper the interior’s Spartan atmosphere. Other curved shapes are found throughout the space – from the pleasingly bulbous form of the vintage lamp positioned on the sales counter, to opulent velvet-upholstered chairs – these elements also rounding out the strong angles. In an adjoining room a circular concrete sink with a marble interior allows for extended consultations while emphasising the formal variation found in the main retail area.
Colour is used to maximum effect, and serves as a counterpoint to the Brutalism. Floor-to-ceiling cabinetry constructed around the perimeter adds a delicate touch with its warm, rosy tones. A vertical trapeze of grid-like metal shelves, finished in pale pink and brass, amplify the spatial linearity and chromatic contrast. Behind these sit backlit wall panels in a deep, reddish brown. A connection to the exterior is provided by the cranked angles of the full-height window facade, which yields generous views of the urban square beyond. The interior wall opposite the window is finished with plush velvet panels, which catch light and reflect sunlight, shifting over the course of the day.
A sensitively crafted composition, Aesop Luitpoldblock strikes the perfect equilibrium between strength and softness.