Pat­ter­sons de­sign Ae­sop’s first New Zealand store

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The Aus­tralian skin­care brand Ae­sop has more than 60 sig­na­ture stores around the world, and has just added a space in the Auck­land sub­urb of New­mar­ket to this ar­ray of de­sign mar­vels. This is no cookie-cut­ter global roll­out, as the brand prides it­self on em­brac­ing lo­cal con­text and lo­cal tal­ent in its stores. “Ae­sop has al­ways em­braced de­sign, dif­fer­ence and the rich­ness of lo­cal con­text,” says Denise Neri, Ae­sop’s re­tail ar­chi­tec­tural man­ager. “Cul­tural en­gage­ment is cen­tral to our DNA and we al­ways con­sider how our re­tail spa­ces can link to and sup­port the com­mu­ni­ties we en­ter. We wanted our stores to grow in a thought­ful way without los­ing the essence of what the com­pany is about.”

And so the Ae­sop store in Oslo, for ex­am­ple, is de­signed by the ar­chi­tec­ture firm Snøhetta (which also de­signed the city’s in­cred­i­ble opera house), while the com­pany’s Sao Paulo out­post was de­signed by Pritzker Prizewin­ner Paulo Men­des da Rocha.

For its Auck­land branch, Ae­sop se­lected Pat­ter­sons, the firm be­hind the Len Lye Cen­tre, New Ply­mouth’s stain­less-steel showstopper of an art gallery. In Ae­sop’s New­mar­ket store, “we quickly de­cided our aim was to cel­e­brate the do­mes­tic rit­u­als of wash­ing, and the Ae­sop phi­los­o­phy in a New Zealand way – util­ity, sim­plic­ity and egal­i­tar­i­an­ism,” says Pat­ter­sons direc­tor An­drew Pat­ter­son. “Ae­sop had cho­sen a beau­ti­ful brick corner build­ing in New­mar­ket and asked us to de­sign a neigh­bour­hood store that felt like it re­ally be­longed there.”

To achieve this, the Pat­ter­sons team worked with na­tive tim­ber boards and weathered gal­vanised steel to cre­ate a space that hints at old colo­nial wash­rooms, and evokes “a nos­tal­gia for the ro­bust, un­com­pli­cated Kiwi life­style”, Pat­ter­son says. 2/2-8 Os­borne St, New­mar­ket, Auck­land ae­sop.com

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