Aesop‘s first signature store in Sapporo, Japan, was designed in collaboration with Japanese architects Case-Real under the leadership of Koichi Futatsumata. An essay on the duality of Hokkaido’s snow-covered urban and rural landscapes, local, natural materials with rough and smooth finishes have been juxtaposed to illustrate the soft and harsh sides of the environment.


A dividing unit anchors the angle of the corner tenancy, demarcating the experience beyond. This piece, as well as the walls, point-of-sale and pillar, are constructed from Sapporo freestone, mined in the city’s South Ward. The light grey stone is either buffed smooth, or left rough-cut, offering points of textural contrast and dichotomy throughout the space.


Stainless steel with a vibration finish is used to accent countertops and shelving. The matte silvery gleam of the brushed metal affects a frosty tactility recalling synthetic interventions and the shimmer of snow. Mortar flooring harmonises the overall palette maintaining a tonal consistency with the other materials.

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all images © Takumi Ota