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Aesop Marks Foray Into Thailand With New Flagship Store Designed by Sher Maker

  PROJECTS


Local customs and building traditions inform the design of the Australian wellness and skincare brand’s first signature store in the country.


By Kushagra Sharma

June 9 2024


Aesop’s new flagship store in Bangkok with interiors designed by Sher Maker marks the brand’s departure from relying on third-party distribution and establishment of an independent signature presence | Image Courtesy of Aesop


Australian wellness and skincare brand Aesop has launched its inaugural flagship store in Thailand in Bangkok’s Thonglor neighborhood. With its rich history, thriving art and culture scene, eateries, and nightlife, Thonglor was a natural choice for the brand that is known for its meticulous approach to choosing locations.


The entrance to the store is designed as a welcoming extension of the street | Image Courtesy of Aesop


In developing the store's design, Chiang Mai-based studio Sher Maker has drawn inspiration from the surroundings and the vernacular built heritage of Thailand's provinces, creating a quiet sanctuary. The store is split into the main shopfloor, which opens seamlessly into the street, and the Fa-Lhai Room, an intimate timber pavilion designed to engage the senses. The room’s sliding panels balance seclusion and openness, beckoning customers to discover and experiment with the brand’s products.


The private Fa-Lhai Room, with its wooden sliding doors, recalls the wooden houses in northern Thailand | Image Courtesy of Aesop


Visitors are invited to discover and experiment with the brand’s unconventional and exclusive collections of perfumes and fragrances | Image Courtesy of Aesop

Local Materials that Pay Homage to Thailand’s Vernacular 

In keeping with Aesop’s ethos of achieving maximum effect with minimal materials, the interiors feature a pared-down yet tactile material palette of reclaimed teak sourced from the personal collection of the building’s owner and the nearby Bang Ban district. Textured white plaster, used commonly in the region, forms a neutral backdrop for the range of amber-colored bottles on display. 


“The wood is an integral part of the design and we used it in an honest way,” says Patcharada Inplang, Founder of Sher Maker, “All the elements are used in a rational system to function as furniture rather than decoration.” 


A restrained yet tactile palette of reclaimed teak and textured white plaster walls creates a suitable backdrop for Aesop’s offerings | Image Courtesy of Aesop


Focal Points Informed by Domestic Mores

True to the signature Aesop style seen globally, the store celebrates a decidedly contemporary domestic aesthetic. This is most notably expressed in the centrally placed four-part sink, which evokes the spirit of a kraba-din, a traditional earthen fire pit that serves as the heart of communal gatherings in local villages. “The sink in the center of the store also uses Thai granite, the cheap, everyday stone used by Thais,” adds Inplang, “We had a clear intention to import as little as possible and to use local materials and local skilled labor as much as we could.” 


The central four-part sink is a nod to domestic life, with each granite basin inspired by a kraba-din, the traditional earthen fire pit that is the center of communal gatherings in local villages | Image Courtesy of Aesop


Attention to craftsmanship and detail is evident in every nook and corner, with local, time-honored joinery techniques skillfully employed to develop the robust posts and wooden benches that punctuate the spaces.


Wooden surfaces dominate throughout, exuding warmth and calmness associated with wellness | Image Courtesy of Aesop


The brand has always sought out local artists and inspiration from local culture when designing new stores, says Marianne Lardilleux, Head of Store Design at Aesop. “Aesop has long supported the local communities in which we operate. Similarly, in Thonglor, we aim to positively impact the neighborhood while engaging with and facilitating a good experience for its like-minded residents.”

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