Aesop Pitt Street
A tranquil space in bustling Sydney streets

2018–2019

Interior Architecture

Introduction

Located in the heart of Sydney’s business district, in the middle of the busy cosmopolitan shopping area, one can find a peaceful space in Aesop’s Pitt Street store. Its tranquil interior is set to slow down the pace, encourage browsing and draw attention to the contrasting textures and materials of the surrounding buildings, leaving visitors with a feeling of serenity and reassurance. 

Aesop Pitt Street is a result of the spirit of Sydney infused with the ambience and mission of Aesop, which includes creating honest products to be sold in shops which reflect the context of their locations, communities and environments.

Technical details

Typologies
Retail
Status
Completed
Location
Gadigal Land/Sydney, Australia
Client

Aesop

Collaborators

Blight Rayner

Size
250 m2

Photo: Peter Bennetts

Coastal greatness and tranquility

The design process began with understanding the relationship between the spirit of the coast and waterfront at Bondi Beach and the vibrancy of the central business district.

A monumental granite structure wraps the interior of the sandstone building, paying homage to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 1968-9 Wrapped Coast, which rendered the sandstone cliffs of Little Bay’s theatrical, lunar landscape. The ambition was to bring the greatness and tranquility of these coastal cliffs to the bustling downtown environment.

Photo: Peter Bennetts

Photo: Peter Bennetts

Photo: Benjamin Hosking

Transition through textured granite

Responding to the energy of the downtown area, the store’s entrance, clad in textured granite, is set back from the street and provides a moment to decompress and transition into the space, metaphorically bringing the coastal calm into the busy city center. The color and texture of the entrance contrasts the smooth sandstone features of the building, signaling visitors to slow down.

Monumentality and intimacy

Inside, a robust and durable material palette of stone, brass metal and concrete balances a sense of monumentality and intimacy. Inspired by the monolithic scale and texture of a stone quarry, the room appears to be composed of solid granite.

Carved grooves in the stone create the divisions where metal shelves have been inserted, integrating shelves into the cladding. Polished metal detailing reflects the stone, creating an almost invisible line and highlighting the products displayed around the perimeter of the space.

Photo: Peter Bennetts

Sensory exploration

Within the store, visitors are invited to discover Aesop’s fragrances in a sensorium. Designed to evoke both calmness and curiosity, this is a place for sensory exploration. Contrasting the textured, dark granite palette of the store’s interior, the sensorium is characterized by smooth, dusty pink surfaces. With an irregular arched entrance and curved walls, the space references waves of scent diffusing through the air.

The Aesop family

Aesop Pitt Street is the eighth Aesop store designed by Snøhetta.

Other stores include Aesop Prinsens gate (Oslo), Aesop Homansbyen (Oslo), Aesop Grabenstraße (Düsseldorf), Aesop Fasanenstraße (Berlin), Aesop ION (Singapore), Aesop Raffles City (Singapore) and Aesop Duke of York Square (London).

Acknowledgement

This project is located on Gadigal Country. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we live and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.