Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio

Mlkk Studio channels nostalgia inside Aesop store in Sydney

A pinewood stud wall encloses this Aesop store in Sydney, which Mlkk Studio has furnished with domestic items to evoke 1960s Australian homes.

Mlkk Studio has designed the Aesop store – which is just half-an-hour drive from Bondi beach – to reflect traditional domestic life and stir up a "sense of deja vu" amongst locals.

Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio

It's fronted by a grid of pinewood planks and panels, intended to resemble the structural framework of post-war suburban homes in Australia.

"We found the beauty of the incomplete housing-frame resonates with the fading memory of the audience, who are mostly local Australians with a very similar background," said the studio.

"They shared a lot of memories and experiences in the '60s and '70s – we believe this fascinating background offers the opportunity to curate a deeper level of retail experience through triggering one's memory of the everyday living in the past."

Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio

The studio sourced the timber from a nearby woodwork store in order to minimise customisation and construction costs, and draw upon the localised theme of the project.

The material is also meant to deliberately contrast the modern surroundings of Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall.

Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio

"We had to be very careful and sensitive in the dimensions and spacing of each component," explained the studio.

"As most of the components are exposed, some sophisticated details used nowadays were not common in the generic domestic design in the '60s."

Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio

Glazed inserts in the facade offer glimpses into the store, which is divided into an entry foyer where products are displayed and two back-of-house areas for staff.

Each room has been completed with a carefully curated selection of materials, furnishings and objects that evoke classic households of the '60s and '70s.

Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio

At the centre of the foyer is a plastic laminate counter with stainless-steel edges. Faucet-style plastic knobs have been used as handles on the cupboard doors in a nod to the '70s interior design trends.

Vintage sofas and lighting fixtures have been used to dress the space, while Venetian blinds close off an internal timber-framed room.

Marmoleum vinyl floors run throughout, complementing the warm hue of the exposed timber frame.

Purchasable ceramic coffee mugs are also hung on the wall, further enforcing the store's domestic feel, along with a handful of earth-toned vases.

Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio

The studio was also loosely influenced by 1958 French comedy film Mon Oncle, in which some of the lead characters reside in Villa Arpel – an uncomfortable suburban home that focuses on aesthetics rather than functionality.

"It questions the dedication to superficial and impractical aesthetics and electrical gadgets over the necessities of daily living," added the studio.

"The design [of the store] takes a similarly humorous, witty and contrasting approach to trigger questions and deeper thoughts through reiterating the common image of everyday domestic lives of the '60s."

Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio

Aesop has worked with Mlkk Studio on two other branches – one is located in Seoul and is decked out entirely in red brick, while the other in Taipei has a white-tile interior that's meant to match the materiality of the city's buildings.

All three have been shortlisted in this year's Dezeen Awards.

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Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio
Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio
Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio
Aesop Bondi Signature Store by Mlkk Studio