torafu architects sandwich aesop shibuya between two structures
torafu architects sandwich aesop shibuya between two structures torafu architects sandwich aesop shibuya between two structures
may 10, 2013

torafu architects sandwich aesop shibuya between two structures

torafu architects sandwich aesop shibuya between two structuresphoto: takumi ota




situated on a long slender site–2.6m in width, 7.8m in depth and 3.9m in maximum height–aesop shibuya occupies the first floor of a three-storey building sandwiched between two taller structures. the australian skin care brand commissioned torafu architects to convert the intimate space in to a welcoming retail shop in the bustling quarter of tokyo.

blackened steel is used for the counter and storage piecesphoto: takumi ota




the door of the entrance as well as the façade are glass, the latter made from a composition of brown, clear and corrugated glass panels which form a geometrical patchwork. as one enters the interior they are welcomed by a floor texture which changes from old, weathered wood with a set of three stairs transitioning into sisal carpet, the change emphasizing the move from the busy street into the tranquility of the store.

the basin – a signature feature of all aesop shopsphoto: takumi ota




the interior design is reduced to a minimum number of materials. storage shelves, counter and work surfaces are all finished in blackened steel which compliment the mortar walls, or mirrored wall found at the back. immediately on the left, there is a wash basin–a signature feature of all aesop stores. travelling through to the rear of the shop, one is greeted by a pink wall, stocked with the line of natural beauty products, as well as a larger counter space hidden within an recessed area, where a mirrored wall visually enhances the actual size of the space and reflects the natural light which floods through from a set of windows on the opposing wall.

views of the transition of floor coverings, from weathered wood to sisal carpetingphotos: takumi ota


the back end of the store is lit by natural light which floods through from windows situated along the edge of the wall and ceilingphoto: takumi ota


at the shop’s rear, there is a recessed area where there is a large work surface extending from a mirrored wall which visually expands the spacephoto: takumi ota


view into the shop from the backphoto: takumi ota


left: a look down the narrow retail spaceright: the glass geometric patchwork façadephotos: takumi ota

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,670 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample