Snøhetta fuse futuristic and classic designs for Aesop Duke of York Square


International architecture and design firm, Snøhetta, have completed their first permanently built project in England for beauty brand, Aesop.


Aesop’s newest boutique store, dubbed Aesop Duke of York Square, sits snugly in an industrial-chic space in Chelsea, London. Famous for its unique apothecary-style brown bottles and characteristic cream and black labelling, Aesop is a beauty brand that knows exactly who to reach out to, guaranteeing an impeccable design for their 200th store – renowned architecture and design brand, Snøhetta.


Photo © Paola Pansini

With an interior characterised by a pale red palette and stainless-steel elements, Snøhetta has created an intriguing fusion of futuristic and classic design techniques. The starting point for the layout is a pre-existing column, around which 12 arches have been secured - these stretch towards the outer walls and creating visual partitions within the space. The arches are clad in a clay-based plaster in various shades of pale rose; light from between the arches emphasizes the gradient effect of the clay work, and creates sensual silhouettes.

,The centre piece to this store is a large, circular sink that hugs the central column. This sink is a vital element within all of the Aesop stores; in the Duke of York Square store, the sink is made from glass fibre and polished stainless-steel to act as a water mirror, reflecting the colours of the ceiling.


Photo © Paola Pansini

Contrasting the rough clay surface of the walls against the smooth steel shapes, the Snøhetta architects bring a depth to the design which aims to trigger the customer’s sense of curiosity. The practice – whose previous projects include the Times Square Reconstruction and Under - have maintained their trans-disciplinary approach with the Aesop Duke of York Square by integrating architectural and interior design whilst remaining aware of the building’s landscape.

The Aesop Duke of York Square is now Aesop’s biggest store in Europe, retailing their entire range of beauty products. Within the 108-square-metre space, Snøhetta have combined traditional arches with futuristic elements to ensure that it becomes a stand-out addition to Aesop’s series of uniquely designed stores around the world.  


Photo © Paola Pansini





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