New York and Chicago firm Norman Kelley has designed Aesop’s first store in the American Midwest. Its 88-square metre interior was inspired close observation of architectural grids, most specifically, the innovative and textural grid of inner Chicago. At each surface, and with each material transition, grids are masked and revealed at varying scales and orientations. Flooring and walls feature distinctive herringbone and pinwheel brick bond patterns; all are of reclaimed Chicago Common Brick – a material historically reserved for alley facades, and noted for its economy. Through their porous texture, and intriguing marks of age, the bricks impart warmth and comfort and reflect the material’s history.

Like window mullions, the product display shelves are clad in steel, a gesture intended to acknowledge and evoke the industrial history of Chicago’s Western neighbourhoods. Crafted from White Oak stained in black, both point-of-sale and demonstration sink resemble low-profile armoires; each is positioned to encourage exploration.

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all images courtesy of Norman Kelley