Following in the footsteps of figures including Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Vincent Van Duysen and Ilse Crawford, the Campana brothers were asked to create a bespoke interior for the skin and haircare brand's latest store, in their home city São Paulo.
The duo chose to plan their whole design around the use of cobogó bricks – a type of hollow ceramic block that is typically used across South America to allow ventilation and lighting to filter gently and evenly into buildings.
The bricks form the walls of the store, provides shelving and furniture, and creates an inset for the poured concrete floor. They also extend out into courtyard at the front and rear of the shop.
"The interior is informed by a natural, earthy palette, emphasising the versatility of the traditional Paulista design," said Aesop.
All of blocks are terracotta in colour. The ones used for the shelves have a gridded structure, but the rest all feature a quarter circle in one corner with lines radiating out, so when grouped together they create a sunshine motif.
To match the bare terracotta, the Campanas used concrete for countertops, as well as the sink where customers can test products. They also chose Sisal fibre – a textile made by extracting fibres from plants – on the walls.
The front courtyard functions as a small public square, with wooden benches and climbing plants. A decorative gate stands in front, made using both cobogó bricks and aluminium.
"The result is a space that exceeds its commercial function and offers a meeting place for the local community," said Aesop.
Aesop has built its reputation around the unique aesthetic of each of its stores, which are located all around the world.
In an interview with Dezeen, founder Dennis Paphitis said he was horrified at the thought of a "soulless chain".
The Campanas' Aesop Vila Madalena is the second branch of the store to open in São Paulo, following one designed as a collaboration between Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Metro Architects.