Virtual Design Festival

Aesop's signature Munich store by 1zu33

1zu33 creates bespoke spaces that "connect brands with people"

Munich-based architecture studio 1zu33 has created numerous spaces for brands including a snowy forest within a pop-up restaurant and a tranquil interior for an Aesop store.

The studio was founded in 2009 by Hendrik Müller and Georg Thiersch, who both studied architecture at the Kunstakademie Stuttgart, partly under David Chipperfield. Working exclusively in the field of spatial brand communication, its aim is to create spaces that connect brands with people.

Some of 1zu33's projects as shown in the brand's 10-year-anniversary exhibition, Stories/Spaces

"For our longterm clients we develop narratives in order to enhance concepts for brand communications across various spacial formats such as retail stores, exhibitions, scenographic experiences for longterm and temporary interventions," the architecture studio explained.

As well as providing consulting and strategic guidance, the studio, which was recently ranked among the top 50 agencies in the German creative industry, also develops narrative and conceptual design and offers architectural and interior design services.

Aesop store in Munich by 1zu33
1zu33's store design for Aesop combined raw concrete surfaces and muted, warm colours

1zu33's retail designs include skincare brand Aesop's first signature store in Munich, located inside the historical Luitpoldblock.

The studio chose to balance the store's concrete structure with delicate accents and vintage furnishings, while adding a concrete counter with a marble top to honour the concrete surroundings.

Other areas of expertise include designing for exhibitions, trade fairs and events, as well as workplace and residential design.

Among its exhibition design projects are a partially translucent, domestic hub, which displayed bathroom brand Hansgrohe's collection next to an-all black habitat for Axor's collaboration with Jean-Marie Massaud.

1zu33 designed the tall, architectural structures to reflect "the relevance of both brands in digital megacity environments," it said.

Hansgrohe trade fair design by 1zu33
A translucent hub for Hansgrohe was contrasted with a black design for Axor

At Light + Building 2018, the studio worked with Occhio. It created an imaginary high-rise, arranged horizontally across the 600 square metres stand, for the brand.

Highlighting how closely linked quality of life and light are, the "building" showed visitors new luminaire ranges in possible future habitats, including a restaurant, co-working space and a rooftop bar.

An imaginary highrise made for Occhio by 1zu33
Occhio's imaginary highrise, designed by 1zu33

The 30 architectural, interior and communication designers working in 1zu33's Munich headquarters have also turned their hand to more scenographic, theatrical experiences, including recreating the Black Forest in an LA warehouse for Gaggenau's restaurant 1683.

1zu33 created the fairytale-like restaurant, which looked like a snowy forest flooded in moonlight, on the 11th floor of the warehouse in downtown Los Angeles to honour Gaggenau's 333rd anniversary.

Gaggenau Black Forest by 1zu33
The studio's dramatic forest, created for Gaggenau

In 2019, 1zu33 celebrated its 10th anniversary with an experiential exhibition, Stories/Spaces, at the AIT ArchitekturSalon in Munich. Stories/Spaces was designed together with design studio Off Office to unveil the creative processes behind 1zu33's work.

The studio, which has won some of the most relevant awards in the field of brand communication, is still led by founders Müller and Thiersch. "We like to think of our studio as a family, and enjoy investing in long-term partnerships with our clients," the studio said.

1zu33 was on the Dezeen Awards 2018 longlist in the Retail Interior category for its design for another Aesop signature store, in Leipzig, Germany.

Studio: 1zu33
Contact email: [email protected]

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