LAB, Lane Crawford, Queensway, Hong Kong
Main Use: Retail
Site Area: 25 sqm
Bldg. Area: 25 sqm
GFA: 25 sqm
created a cycle of concept case studies for the renowned Australian
brand Aesop, in which eleven installations, signature stores and concept
stores across Asia and Europe have evolved. Although each design
is unique in its approach, materiality and character, the design
rationale is consistently grounded in rigorous analysis of the brand’s
philosophy and customer engagements with the brand’s sophisticated
case studies explicitly focus on the integration, interaction and
communication aspects between humans and objects. The spatial
organizations, operational characters and material palettes within the
spaces are all directly responding to the holistic design thinking and
adaptation of specific requirements within each given contextual
environment. Across the eleven case studies, the projects are
inter-linked with the intention to strengthen the synergies between the
architecture, the brand and the site context.
The outcome of rationalization and simplification of the design thinking
results in a series of timeless, functional and commercially successful
Cheungvogl was commissioned to formulate a design language for a ‘Core
Design System’ to be installed at Aesop LAB, Lane Crawford, Queensway
Plaza, Hong Kong. This design system will work as a guideline for Aesop
to inform and rationalize key modules that can be utilized and
implemented in other similar contextual environments across Asia.
Cheungvogl develops and rationalizes the concept of a ‘Modular
System’, deriving from a series of rigorous analysis and research of
the brand’s philosophy and core values, which include analytical
studies of product range, dimensions, heights and weight of each
product, prioritizes consultation and presentation, storage, graphic
communication, movement, social and cultural environments. In search of
the most rational approach for product display, the design establishes a
set of guidelines, which are sympathetic to accommodate discrepancies
during the construction process. The design of the ‘Modular System’
considers a highly controlled process from the conceptual design stage
to offshore construction and project management stage.
The timeless material
palette composes of black milled steel, oak ply timber, laboratory taps
and industrial stools, which can be easily adapted across all the
modular concept stores. Seemingly as a family, the stores retain their
individual distinct cultural values of its place. The manifestation of
the ‘Modular System’ has since been successfully implemented in two
Signature stores in Taiwan by Cheungvogl.
collaborating with Aesop
“Hong Kong based
studio Cheungvogl has designed two new Hong Kong stores for Aesop. The
two aren’t strangers to each other - Cheungvogl has created
several store concepts for the Australian cosmetics brand before,
including a temporary installation at I.T HYSAN ONE, one in a long
series of collaborations. Aren't they bored with each other yet?
Q: Aesop, Telford Plaza, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong and Aesop Signature
Store, Cityplaza, Tai Koo Shing, Hong Kong are your latest two stores
for Aesop in Hong Kong. What are the differences between the two?
Cheungvogl: The Signature store for Aesop Cityplaza merges display with
storage, which allows the costumers to engage with Aesop’s operation.
The display follows the idea of an honest and practical storage system
in a warehouse and at the same time it creates a sense of calmness by
the choice of natural materials and simplification of design details.
The stacked timber shelving units are complimented by concrete walls and
epoxy industrial floor finish, enabling light to reflect and enlighten
the space in a dimmer, more theatrical context compare to the adjacent
environment. The elongated configuration coupled with the visual
projection on the back wall draw visitors’ attention into the store in
We were convinced of having met Aesop’s highest expectations, when
Dennis [Paphitis, Founder and CEO of Aesop] asked us to carry through
the design language and rationality of Aesop Cityplaza onto the new
signature store at Telford Plaza.
In Telford, we use black metal as a contrast to the existing site, which
is filled with natural light. The black metal walls and ceiling visually
heightens the space, while the stacked timber shelves are slightly
reduced in height to accentuate the volume of the space.
Q: What inspired you to design these stores?
Cheungvogl: Our projects are engaged with how the brand functions and
how materials are used to enhance these functions in their most honest
and natural interpretations.
The stacked timber shelving unit follows the specifications and
requirements of timber crates storage during production, shipping and
The design process simulates the notion of laboratory tests in which we
analysed, measured, documented and tested the perfect mixture of
materials such as metal, timber, concrete within each space. Since both
stores are inherently distinctive in their contextual environments, the
different mixtures of ingredients are selected to enhance or contrast
the expression of these contexts.
Q: You designed stores for Aesop before, why do you keep collaborating
Cheungvogl: The biggest reward for our dedication and passion towards
our projects is a returning client. Aesop certainly values our design
philosophy and project management skills by entrusting our studio to
design a cycle of new concepts.
Within the Aesop aesthetic, how did you put your ideas into the designs
of these stores?
Cheungvogl: Our studio does not necessarily have a static design
aesthetic manifesto, but we work with a philosophy that aesthetics must
follow a set of rigorous design discipline that is grounded in research
and analysis. Aesop is a brand that values design as an integral and
holistic process in which we are able to materialize the designs into a
series of confident and coherent outcome.”
Cheungvogl, Collaborating with Aesop, Q&A by Anne-Wil Heijlaerts,
FRAME, January 2013
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