Located in the city center, Lyon’s second flagship Aesop store, designed by Nicolas Schuybrouck Architects, is not far from the first store, which opened in 2017. While its first space is cozy and compact, Aesop’s Place de la République in Lyon is airy and bright. I was satisfied. The design takes inspiration from the architectural shell of the city and its location. The historic setting and sophisticated exterior contrasted interestingly with the raw modernity of the interior, which was given a light touch.
A first collaboration with Belgian studio Nicolas Schuybroek Architects, the space retains elements of past life, on top of which only the necessary layers of modern materials are added, creating unexpected textural variations. It has been introduced. The high ceilings are clad in pristine fire-resistant foam. This cloud-like mass is rarely visible in retail stores, but is left intact out of both practicality and respect for its past features.
The lower room is lined with wool felt, whose softness and sound-absorbing properties add warmth and homeliness to the otherwise cool space. These walls change subtly over the life of the store, with the tufted surfaces inevitably bearing slight scratches, stains, and other marks of time. A series of freestanding elements recalls Lyon’s numerous fountains. A small sink for intimate consultations, a wood veneer counter, and a large central basin wrapped in local tin that has developed a unique patina over the years.