Aesop Salamanca, Madrid

Nestled in Madrid's Salamanca district, the Aesop Signature Store stands as a paragon of architectural finesse, sustainability, and local character. Crafted through the collaboration of Ciszak Dalmas and Matteo Ferrari, and imbued with the ethos of Dieter Rams' design principles, this establishment reverently honors the neighborhood's legacy while optimizing natural light and encouraging exploration, thereby safeguarding Madrid's cherished "Castizo" culture, embraced by luminaries such as Ernest Hemingway and Ava Gardner.

Every facet of the store, from its layout to the design of the water basin, is meticulously curated to elevate the customer experience, drawing inspiration from Aesop's philosophy of fostering meaningful engagements. Locally sourced materials, including handcrafted terracotta tiles and red Spanish travertine, serve as reflections of Madrid's essence. Innovative elements like the natural graphene wall application not only showcase the store's dedication to sustainability but also ensure optimal temperature control, enduring durability, and minimal maintenance requirements.

The preservation of the facade serves as a tribute to the neighborhood's architectural heritage, seamlessly blending neoclassical elegance with Madrid's dynamic lifestyle. Adorned with lounge chairs from the iconic Darro (established in Madrid in 1959) and a magnificent macramé tapestry by María Asunción Raventós (born in Barcelona in 1930), the space exudes homage to Spanish craftsmanship and artistic expression.

Emphasizing the human experience is paramount, necessitating an understanding of sensory perception in architecture. By fostering connections and delivering positive and memorable experiences, the store establishes itself as an essential part of the community. From the olfactory welcome emanating from micro-perforations in the exterior carpentry to the symbiotic interplay of sight and touch within the store, every detail is meticulously crafted to engage both visitors and staff alike, ensuring a sense of inclusion and pride. As Álvaro Siza eloquently stated, "If man is ignored, architecture is unnecessary.".

Architects: Ciszak Dalmas / Matteo Ferrari
Location: Calle Claudio Coello 51, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Floor Area: 100 m2
Completion: 6/2022
Photo: Romaine La Prade

Aesop Las Salesas, Madrid

The new Aesop store marries Madrid's rich artistic heritage harmonizing with the iconic marvel of Palacio Longoria. The façade, reminiscent of the area's timeless architecture, effortlessly complements the district's allure.

Drawing inspiration from the Spanish artistic modernism, the interior showcases the distinctive "Trencadís" technique. Historically, Trencadís offered an innovative approach to using ceramics, even on rounded constructions. This mosaic, created purely from ceramic fragments, becomes a standout feature, adorning the store's flooring, checkout areas, and display section.

Once inside, visitors are met with a serene interplay of light and shadow, made possible by the 'Catedral' glass with its unique hammered finish. Sleek free-standing sinks, with tops crafted from the typical Spanish Silvestre Granito and bases constructed from thin glass and the Alpi Walnut Burl wood, enhance the store's light-filled ambiance, seeming to float without support.

The transparent portico serves as the store's focal point, presenting a unique architectural feature and affording glimpses of both the Front of House and the Back of House activities. Walls are rendered in a fine-grain clay plaster, and with wood veneer, fostering both a sense of privacy and a welcoming atmosphere.

Architects: Ciszak Dalmas / Matteo Ferrari
Location: Calle Fernando VI, 11 28004 Madrid, Spain
Floor Area: 120 m2
Completion: 1/2024
Photo: Marta Rubio

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