Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Design Guideline

Aesop, Modular System and Design Guideline, Asia-Pacific Region
Year: 2013-

Cheungvogl created the award winning and widely recognized installation for Aesop at I.T Hysan One in Hong Kong to re-introduce the brand to the local market as a precursor to its expansion in the region. Subsequently, Cheungvogl created a cycle of concept case studies for the renowned brand, in which 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.

(Image above: Construction of the Aesop Signature Store, City Plaza, Hong Kong)  



Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Design Guideline
Detail of the composition of soft and hard materials: Aesop, Lane Crawford, Canton Road, Hong Kong. 


In parallel, Cheungvogl was commissioned to formulate a Design Guideline for Aesop, Asia-Pacific Region to maintain a consistently strong presence with a set of coherent design language, aesthetic, materiality and architectural details that the brand uses to refine their future. The introduction of the guided creativity sees the brand growing in Asia and North America.

The Design Guidelines are strongly based on the studioís case studies, which 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 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.


  Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Design Guideline
The signature tap design by Cheungvogl for the Aesop Concept Store, Hysan Place, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Design Guideline
The backside of the display of the Hysan Place Concept Store forms a movable archive, which houses the stock.


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Design Guideline
The backside of the archive display.





Cheungvogl collaborating with Aesop by Anne-Wil Heijlaerts, FRAME, January 2013

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?


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Design Guideline

Aesop Signature Store, Telford Plaza, Hong Kong


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 Design Guideline
Aesop Signature Store, Telford Plaza, Hong Kong by Cheungvogl: The scale of product, display and space for exploration and interaction is each explored individually and composed in their togetherness to create coherency.  


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Design Guideline
The display is the result of exploration of the packaging, the visual composition and the relevance of product groups.


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.  


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Design Guideline
The materiality and its characteristic detailed execution creates an holistic experience, from the spatial experience down to the haptic sensation.


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Design Guideline
Detail of the display.

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 Design Guideline
Display at the Aesop Signature Store, City Plaza, Hong Kong by Cheungvogl.


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