Tokyo-based studio Torafu Architects recently completed the Kyoto store for our favorite cosmetics label Aēsop. Once again it is of the highly inspirational quality we’ve become used to when it comes to Aēsop stores. Located in the central shopping district of Kawaramachi, the beautiful space consists of two levels; a retail and small lounge area on the ground level, and a gallery space on the upper floor intended for social interaction. The original building structure was key in the design by Torafu as they wanted to keep it as intact as possible. Creating a beautiful raw and industrial aesthetic, exposed concrete and irregular wall surfaces have been preserved and integrated into the overall design.
Within this raw fundament Torafu used soft texture materials, like flexible board for the shelves and the facade, and the so called Ōya stone for the floors. Together with the pastel colors and the use of glass constructions give the space a pure and earthly feel which is a great fit for the products of Aēsop. The peaceful sentiment which the store evokes through its design becomes even stronger within the context of the busy street on which the store is located, possibly the final touch intended by Torafa in its beautiful design of the impressive store.
Torafu Architects is a design studio founded in 2004 by Koichi Suzuno and Shinya Kamaro, and has already received more than 15 awards for its interior, architectural and furniture design projects. The duo also engages with exhibition space design, product design, spatial installations and film making. The Aēsop Kawaramachi shop, completed in December 2013, is the fourth Aēsop retail space by Torafu Architects, with the other three being the Aēsop Shin-Marunouchi, Aēsop Yokohama Bay Quarter and Aēsop Shibuya stores.
Photography by Takumi Ota.