Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Lane Crawford Canton Road

Aesop, Lane Crawford, Canton Road, Hong Kong
Year: 2011
Main Use: Retail
Site Area: 30 sqm
Bldg. Area: 30 sqm
GFA: 30 sqm
Storeys: 1

Design for Asia DFA Awards 2012 Merit Award:  Aesop, Lane Crawford, Canton Road, Hong Kong

Design for Asia DFA Awards,  HKTDC Inno Design Tech (IDT) Expo, Hong Kong, 2012

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.


  Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Lane Crawford Canton Road 

Material Time.

Constructed from old boat timber from China, executed in simple and refined details, the material of the architecture represents time in a way as though it could be extended, traced back, recorded and remembered. Not one inch of the texture mimics the other, the fluidity of marks read like fingerprints created by nature. No two wood pieces are the same. The planks, left in their original state, are made into two floating cabinets. Naturally occurring holes in the wood become the drawer handles. 

The physical dimension of the architecture is measured, calculated and timed, so as to allow one to experience movement - slow movement. The design tests the limits of maximizing its mass; maximizing the time it takes to walk around the edges of the architecture and idealizing the notion of slowness becomes an obvious antithesis to its fast pace environment.

The natural decay of the installation is made more prominent by its modern, clean and controlled surroundings. The architecture is set out to challenge how material could be used to document time, slow down the process of every movement and create precious moments of quality and memories.


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Lane Crawford Canton Road

Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Lane Crawford Canton Road Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Lane Crawford Canton Road Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Aesop Lane Crawford Canton Road


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 Lane Crawford Canton Road

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 Lane Crawford Canton Road

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