only two months after opening up shop in kyoto, a second downtown aesop outlet bows on kawaramachi dori, a popular shop-lined thoroughfare. as with other stores, the australian cosmetics brand has gone to great lengths to create a compelling shop interior that references local culture and for this store it has enlisted tokyo-based practice torafu architects. the history of the surrounding area goes as far as the late 16th century, but when the city was subject to an extensive reconstruction in the 19th century, it was central to the meiji restoration. the interior aesthetic has been developed as such that it blends tradition with modernity, although tilting more towards the latter. the store has a narrow elongated shape, featuring wall-mounted product displays on either side at the entrance and a demonstration sink midway.
the sale counter is situated at the back of the store, opposite a leather-covered seating bench and right next to a staircase leading to the first-floor gallery space. beautiful pendant lights, used on local squid fishing boats, hang from the vaulted ceiling, and by green accents for the entrance, demonstration sinks and staircase. a pale flexible board with a mortar-like texture is utilised for the façade and for protruding shelves that occupy the first segment of the space. together with the porous oya stone used for flooring, it provides a natural palette that lends a very appropriate and pervasive sense of calm. the new aesop store carries the brand's full range of skin, body and hair care product range. location: 327 shioya-cho [central kyoto].