Aesop’s first store in Bath, UK, designed in collaboration with JamesPlumb, is an homage to the city’s materiality, history, and sensibility. The brief was to reimagine and unite the five-story listed site in central Bath – sensitively restoring it, paying homage to its Georgian sensibilities. On excavating the building (previously occupied by a generically-designed shoe shop), the designers discovered many lost features including a covered-over fireplace and hidden staircase, which now feature prominently.
Throughout the store, Aesop has tried to celebrate what gives Bath its name – its storied Roman stone baths built on natural hot springs. Channeling this, the space features Bath stone – as seen in the shelving, sinks and countertop. Large stone fragments found during the renovation and have been installed as artwork, and a floor of Pamment tiles have been reclaimed from a nearby chapel.
Upstairs, a hidden layer of domesticity emanates from a glowing library. Stripped floorboards, plaster walls, and simple ironmongery lights evoke a bygone era, while an adjoining kitchen – quite unique for an Aesop store – has a distinct feeling of a Georgian scullery.