Situated at Piazza del Carmine in Brera, Milan, the first Aesop Italian store was created in collaboration with local firm Vincenzo de Cotiis Architects. The design for the 60-square metre space was determined in part by the lively, sophisticated setting (where neighbours include Chiesa del Carmine, a church with 700-year-old bones), but also by the building itself – a 19th-century heritage site, formerly home to a salumeria (delicatessen).


The store’s palette is dominated by neutral tones: pale peach plaster features on walls and ceiling; the balustrade and concrete floor are of calming grey. The serene qualities of these elements are contrasted by metallic accents effected in asymmetrical product display shelves. Functional and minimalist, crafted from textured cast aluminum, they pay discreet respects to Milan’s industrial roots.  


Further contrasts emerge from the sculptural point-of-sale counter and product demonstration sink – two quietly imposing forms of molded fibreglass. Beyond the retail area lies a modest workspace furnished with restored vintage pieces and a large table reminiscent of the former occupancy.

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all images courtesy of Aesop