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Poetic Passage Retail Focus: Aesop Duke of York Square

Design Trends

Continuing with our Color Trends 2019, we are focusing on designs that explore the color and design of the "Poetic Passage" Trend. Due to the stressful lives that we lead, an emphasis has been placed on the need to escape the everyday and to experience true relaxation within buildings and spaces. From soothing materials that are minimalist and subtle, to promoting wellness and health within interiors, architects are now broadening environmental focus toward the human experience.

Store Interior 1

Interior of store

Situated in Chelsea, London, the Aesop Duke of York Square’s design channels Oscar Niemeyer with an influence of futuristic elements. The result is an interior characterized by classic archetypes, a rose color palette and stainless-steel elements.

Store Interior 2

Interior of store

A large column set in the center of the shop dictated the starting point for the architectural layout.
The team placed twelve arching sections of wall, intentionally reminiscent of the concrete forms used by Oscar Niemeyer, around its edges. The arches splay out across the ceiling and touch the walls to incorporate the column into the design. This series of arches function as a key element in creating a sense of organizational hierarchy and are clad with a subtle rose gradient color. Illumination from between the arches further emphasizes the gradient effect.

Store Interior 3

interior of store

A large disk-shaped sink with a polished stainless-steel top and fiber-glass base wraps around the center of the column, cementing it as the center point of the store, while simultaneously allowing for an optimized flow of people within the space.

Store Interior 4

interior of store

The walls, ceiling and arches are clad in a pink-pigmented clay based plaster, giving the space a royal rose-color. The clay plaster is delivered by Clayworks, and sourced from South West counties of England. This simple and clear color palette is contrasted by extensive use of steel in the other custom elements of the store.

Store Exterior

store exterior

The contrasts created by the rough surfaces of the walls against the soft, polished expression of the clear stainless-steel shapes, the play with color gradients, as well as the changes in light throughout the space, all underline a sense of depth to the design. Combined with the traditional arches and futuristic elements such as the sink, the design aims to trigger customer’s sense of curiosity. For more information on Aesop, visit

All Photographs Used with Permission. All photos by Paola Pansini.