located in greenwich village, aesop university place is defined by a series of horizontal oak shelves that overlap and frame an industrial felt surface beyond – a subtle reference to the oak wrapper and felt-like newspaper surface of the walls at aesop elizabeth street.
the process of design began with a system of horizontal shelves stacked vertically from floor to ceiling. through a process of subtraction and shifting, individual shelves were playfully aligned and misaligned, revealing the industrial felt surface beyond and defining recesses that correspond to the varying sizes of product held within.
this space references terrazzo, oak and industrial felt in its design, inspired by the work of german artist joseph beuys. together, these elements, along with the acoustic qualities of the wool felt, define a place of calm with a sense of familiarity – a welcome respite from the activity of the street..
the store’s sink was salvaged from bethlehem steel’s 140-year-old plant in pennsylvania. in a nod of respect to a company largely responsible for laying the steel foundations of modern new york, this sink will serve as the point of introduction for customers experiencing aesop for the first time.
photos: juliana sohn for aesop