The journey to Australian-based luxury skincare brand Aesop’s newest showroom here begins with a stroll through the wide aisles of Marina Bay Sands’ shopping avenues, followed by a descent of 10m below sea level into the cavernous B2 level of the mall. Not far from the impressive and noisy Rain Oculus by Ned Khan, lies a peaceful refuge away from the throngs of tourists and dizzying array of glitzy fashion brands. Designed in collaboration with local studio Asylum, Aesop’s store in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is touted by the designers as “an earthen outcrop and a meditation on Singapore’s relationship with the land”.
Pivoting fin-like partitions swivel to offer entry into the spacious gallery that’s bathed in beige and grey.
Save for the neat rows of products lined along the wall and around the central pillar, there is a stark sense of emptiness, The minimalist styling is tempered with a unique wall treatment – an earthy rendering with its uneven texture.
According to Cara Ang, one of Asylum’s designers on the project, the inspiration for the look of the 890 sq ft space – Aesop’s largest showroom in South-east Asia – was rooted in the site of the world famous casino/hotel shopping mall.
The steel counters, finished in a cool metallic grey, take the form of industrial caissons used during the excavation of land reclaimed from what used to be Marina Bay.
The streamlined appeal and neat angles contrast beautifully with the organic appearance of the wall treatment, creating a poetic display of bold forms juxtaposed with a sensual backdrop. The resulting presentation, enhanced by wafts of a soothing botanical fragrance, is at once inviting and cosy.
Ambient downlights in the gently sloping ceiling help to draw attention to the cantilevered shelving on three sides of the store that optimise floor space.
Behind the central pillar, a bench appears to have a floating effect that complements the shelves.
For shoppers, this new store is not just a treat for the senses, but also a contemplative insight into the unique way the nation’s buildings and land merge cohesively. It is also a reflection of Aesop’s philosophy of doing things differently, and celebrating intelligent and sustainable design.
Aesop Marina Bay Sands is located at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, #B2-90A.