Dezeen Magazine

Aesop Covent Garden by Ciguë

The curved plasterwork of typical Mediterranean architecture influenced the smooth white interior of this store for skin and haircare brand Aesop in London's Covent Garden.

Aesop Covent Garden by Ciguë

Aesop Covent Garden is the fifth store by French studio Ciguë. The team designed shelves and surfaces with naturally chamfered edges, just like in the old houses of Greece, Spain and Italy.

"We did a residential project for a family in Paris and the staircase was in traditional plaster," designer Hugo Haas told Dezeen. "I thought this finish would make a really beautiful concept for Aesop."

Aesop Covent Garden by Ciguë

The shelves are loosely laid out in seven different zones, for displaying each of Aesop's product ranges, while the sink and countertop run along one wall.

The floor is covered with hexagonal green tiles that are engraved with geometric patterns. "We wanted something in contrast, to find a balance," said Haas.

Aesop Covent Garden by Ciguë

This hexagonal motif is also picked up elsewhere, including on the perforations in the sink's plughole.

"It's possible you don't notice it, and it's ok," said Haas, "but I like the feeling when you notice it. It was all about developing a formal language."

Aesop Covent Garden by Ciguë

A custom-made lamp is suspended from the ceiling, built using industrial fixtures from the 1920s, while plants frame an extra window at the rear of the space.

Ciguë's past projects for Aesop include a Paris store where items are displayed on rows of hand-made iron nails and a north London shop modelled on a 1930s medical laboratory. See more design by Ciguë »

Aesop Covent Garden by Ciguë

Dezeen interviewed Aesop founder Dennis Paphitis last year about why no two stores have the same design. "I was horrified at the thought of a soulless chain," he said.

Other Aesop stores have been designed by well-known architects and designers, from Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka to London designer Ilse Crawford and American architect William O'Brien Jr. See more Aesop stores on Dezeen »

Here's some more information from Aesop:

Aesop opens in Covent Garden

A hand-crafted space that honours the art of plastering

London recently welcomed its sixth Aesop signature store, in Covent Garden.

This fresh collaboration with Parisian architects Ciguë began with four key design references: a Virginia Woolf quote, a Francis Bacon painting, a Henry Moore sculpture, and an excerpt from Beauty and the Beast. These inspired a space that eloquently expresses the brand, just as it embodies Ciguë’s philosophy: 'We are very curious about history, and very attentive to transformations. We look out for old know-how and poetry in functionality.'

The brilliantly whitewashed walls reflect abundant natural light, which warms during the afternoon in step with neighbouring pubs. Exposed copper plumbing and light fixtures offer utilitarian adornment. A floor of engraved green cement tiles pays homage to the area's Italianate piazza – London's first open square, constructed in the seventeenth century. The colour is replicated in lush vegetation which climbs the walls from an interior window box, complementing the neighbouring gardens of Saint Paul’s Church.