oslo's retail scene is on the move, shedding its sleepy image and gradually becoming as dynamic as those in neighbouring capitals. sustained by a solid economy and a new-found confidence in entrepreneurial circles, the norwegian capital has seen a flurry of activities and an increased influx of high-end brands. australian cosmetics brand aesop is known to be ahead of the curve when it comes to picking happening new markets and locations to set up shop, and with oslo it's no different. the brand's very first store in the country has settled in a historic 19th-century building on prinsensgate, a thoroughfare in the scenic downtown grid. as always with aesop, the interior design features historic cues, and in this case not only of the immediate surroundings itself. the cosmetics brand collaborated with snøhetta, arguably norway's leading architecture practice, on yet another striking interior that beautifully incorporates and builds on historic materials and surfaces that were discovered on the premises.
the most drastic alteration of the retail space concerns its ceiling of intersecting domes, inspired by orthodox churches and monasteries in Greece and beyond. each dome has been given a gypsum plaster finish, adding depth and a certain magic that's reinforced by spotlights that have seemingly been strewn across the entire ceiling. a chunky sink of fibre-reinforced concrete is placed in the middle of the store, its forms referencing those above. the building's original tiles have been retained and given a matching pale finish, almost similar to the whitewashed bare brick walls. one side of the wall features sleek protruding rows of shelves, while the back wall is plastered in a grid of mirrors that visually enlarge the space. the new aesop store stocks the brand's full range of skin, hair and body care products. location: prinsensgate 21 [sentrum].