20. Feb 2015

Where light toys with shapes and contrasts

Architects: Snøhetta
Photos: Aesop

Aesop cosmetics are based on natural skin care. The architects from Snøhetta picked up on this theme when designing the company’s 100th signature space in Oslo/N. Vaulted ceilings that had been hidden and covered within the space since the 1800s were revealed and natural materials used in the refurbishment process. Light is applied to define architectural forms and support the subtle contrast between the different shades of white in the newly designed space, which gains depth and a certain dynamic quality through the ceiling design and the indirect lighting features.

The ceiling in the 66 square metre space is reminiscent of the vaulted ceilings found in churches and monasteries. Small downlights are integrated into the white plaster vaulted ceiling structures, providing soft ambient lighting in the store. The cove lighting between the ceiling and the walls makes for an interesting detail, especially since it brings out the texture of the painted brick walls. The minimalist shelving on which the products are displayed give rise to a discreet but effective interplay of light and shadow.

The entire store is painted in different shades of white, which generates a simple, clean effect. The architectural forms and diffuse lighting effects create pleasant tension in the space. By revealing the old architecture and adding some dynamic lighting effects this store has truly achieved a “signature space” identity.


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