One of my favourite store designs relies on the beautifully inspired idea of using a single material to elevate the ordinary into the extraordinary. Beautiful design work from the team at Ciguë, Parisian architects who understand material and space. Nice work! This design is for the Aesop Tiquetonne Store in Paris, the fifth one created by Ciguë for Aesop.
I asked Ciguë architect Hugo Haas about the project:
I found these hand made japanese nails (used to build traditional houses) in Kyoto last year, brought some back without any direct application. Once a new Aesop project popped out, we were thinking of different ways of presenting their products. I liked the minimalism of the nails as hooks or as shelves when arranged in closer rhythms. Its always a question of how to embrace the objects without being too strong, too present, to let them show themselves. The rest is basic sensible renovation.
The square-sectioned nails form neat rows along the sycamore-covered walls, creating spaces to hang and stand products of different sizes.
'These old nails are pretty hard to control, so to make sure we had straight lines we laser-drilled them to the wall,' explained Haas.
'The main idea with Aesop is to find different ways of displaying their products. The bottles are so classical they have their own existence. They just need a good background to help them levitate.'
How did you start working with Aesop?
We met Thomas Buisson, Aesop Europe Director, while they were doing a pop up in the Merci shop in Paris, where we sell some furniture. Aesop asked Merci's Director if he knew architects and he introduced us.
'We didn’t want to use colour in the store, as we prefer to use the colours that are inherent to materials. It seems a more natural process for us.'
Home to many tradesmen in the mid-twentieth century, the area features a number of workshops that have remained unchanged for decades. The store’s design is entirely in keeping with this aesthetic – reminiscent of a garden workshop housing well-worn tools that defy obsolescence.
Aesop Tiquetonne was inspired by old-fashioned workshops and garages, where tools are often fixed to the walls with hooks or nails.