Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Cityplaza

Aesop Signature Store, Cityplaza, Tai Koo Shing, Hong Kong
Year: 2012
Main Use: Retail
Site Area: 33 sqm
Bldg. Area: 33 sqm
GFA: 33 sqm
Storeys: 1

Cheungvogl 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 brandís philosophy and customer engagements with the brandís sophisticated product range. The 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 spaces.

The design for the Aesop Signature Store at Cityplaza, Hong Kong is based on simplifying and maximizing product display and product storage within the site context of a mixed used residential and commercial development.
The design takes on an in-depth study of analysing product dimensions, optimizing sightlines, providing flexibility to accommodate changes over time and changes for specific events to enhance and communicate the values of the brand. These parameters are then translated into a set of simplistic and flexible design discipline to encourage interaction and communication between the customers, the consultants and the products within the space. The design of the stacked timber shelving unit is informed by how timber crates are commonly stacked during the process of production, shipping and delivery. The two linear timber shelves ambiguously demarcating the front of house from the back of house, which provide ample storage space while visually, enhance the depth of the space.
Stacked timber shelving, concrete sink counter and industrial epoxy concrete floor finish are selected to respond to the pragmatic needs of how products are presented, categorized, changed, removed and replenished.

Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Cityplaza


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Cityplaza


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Cityplaza

Cheungvogl collaborating with Aesop

ďHong Kong based studio Cheungvogl has designed two new Hong Kong stores for Aesop. The two arenít 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 Aesopís 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 visitorsí attention into the store in an instance.
We were convinced of having met Aesopís 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.


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Cityplaza

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 delivery process.
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 with them?
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.

Q: 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.Ē

Cheungvogl, Collaborating with Aesop, Q&A by Anne-Wil Heijlaerts, FRAME, January 2013


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Cityplaza

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