Aesop | Barcelona, Spain | 2023
[Barozzi Veiga]

Nestled between two architectural columns on Consell de Cent Street, a mysterious dark metal monolith makes its presence known, marking the entrance to Aesop’s latest store, a creation of the Barozzi Veiga architects.

At once both alien and intimately familiar, it integrates seamlessly with its surroundings while establishing a distinct moment of arrival. Stepping inside, visitors are greeted by a space of unexpected proportions—three and a half meters in width, twelve meters in length, and soaring up to five meters in height. This elongated rectangle houses three slender columns, adorned in burnished steel, standing majestically within. Imperfect in their arrangement and rhythm, they nevertheless command the space, exuding an essence that is both raw and refined.

The store’s layout is intentionally asymmetrical, creating a sense of order and fluidity. Opposite the columns, a burnished steel counter extends the length of the space, suspended from the wall and tapering into the depths of the store. Hand-worked and subtly lustrous, it exists as a piece of abstract art, light and deceptively simple. On the opposite side, eight steel trays span seven meters, meticulously displaying the Aesop universe.

This arrangement encourages visitors to navigate the space freely, drawn in by the dance of elements within. The journey culminates in a semi-circular room where straight lines give way to curves, light transforms, and the materials envelop, creating a sensual, intimate sanctuary.

Exiting the store, the choreography of elements subtly guides visitors back out, offering a final surprise—a curtain, unnoticed until now, unfolds to its full height, wrapping around the semi-circular room and adding an unexpected layer of drama and sensuality. Text description by the architects.

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Photography by: Simone Marcolin