Signature Store, Cityplaza, Tai Koo Shing, Hong Kong
Main Use: Retail
Site Area: 33 sqm
Bldg. Area: 33 sqm
GFA: 33 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 brandís
philosophy and customer engagements with the brandís sophisticated
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
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
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
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.
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.Ē
Cheungvogl, Collaborating with Aesop, Q&A by Anne-Wil Heijlaerts,
FRAME, January 2013
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