Snøhetta creates amphitheatre for Aesop Düsseldorf store

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Snøhetta creates curving wooden amphitheatre for Aesop's Düsseldorf store

Shelving crafted from Douglas fir curves around the interior of skincare brand Aesop's first Düsseldorf store, which Snøhetta designed to feel like an amphitheatre (+ slideshow).

Aesop interior in Dusseldorf, Germany by Snøhetta

The Aesop store is located on Grabenstraße, a plaza in Düsseldorf where markets and fairs often take place.

Aesop interior in Dusseldorf, Germany by Snøhetta

Aiming to reflect the plaza's use as a public space, Snøhetta chose a concrete sink reminiscent of a fountain as the shop's centrepiece.

Aesop interior in Dusseldorf, Germany by Snøhetta

"The design subtly blurs distinctions between interior and exterior," said the architects. "This implicit extension of the plaza is amplified by a monolithic concrete sink, reminiscent of a fountain around which locals might regularly gather."

Aesop interior in Dusseldorf, Germany by Snøhetta

They then reinterpreted the communal location as an amphitheatre, using tiered shelving crafted from light-coloured Douglas fir to create a crescent shape around the edge of the room.

Aesop's products are arrayed upon the curving shelves, just as people would be seated on the tiers of an open-air theatre.

Aesop interior in Dusseldorf, Germany by Snøhetta

Outside, two square-shaped timber benches with planter boxes in the middle allow visitors to sit and observe the hustle and bustle of the location.

Aesop was founded in Australia by Dennis Paphitis, who spoke about how he "didn't want to create a soulless chain" during an interview with Dezeen in 2012.

Aesop interior in Dusseldorf, Germany by Snøhetta

Aesop Grabenstraße is the second Snøhetta-designed store in Germany, and the fifth outpost by the firm worldwide.

Other Aesop stores by the New York and Oslo-based architects include a space based on a nutmeg plantation in Singapore and the brand's first outpost in Norway, which features a ceiling of intersecting domes.