15th December 2010
GlassTalk – Aesop Chatswood
Aesop Chatswood was named winner of Viridian’s 2010 Vision Award for the Creative Use of Glass in an Interior Application – Commercial, for project designer Ryan Russell. Aesop sell premium quality skincare products made from the best scientific and botanical ingredients. The store, located in the inner Sydney Chatswood Chase shopping centre, was the third Aesop store designed by Ryan Russell. The Project “As a practice, we approach every project as a unique opportunity to reveal the hidden personalities of our clients, their businesses and, where appropriate, their location,” says Designer, Ryan Russell. “Maintaining a brand across multiple sites doesn’t have to equate to carbon copy designs.” While each store is instantly identifiable as part of the Aesop group, they also have their own individual characteristics. “Essentially, we examined the effect of sunlight as it dances across the waves on Sydney Harbour, the movement and tactility of sailing and the discreet process of swimming and bathing. The store relies on customer movement to subtly shift the action of light on the material surfaces of the exterior and interior to represent these conditions,” explains Ryan. The materials palette, lighting, washplane and shopfront are the main conduits for Aesop Chatswood’s theme. Limed marine plywood, off white colouring, coir flooring and aged brass throughout the store provides a subtle reference to yachting and boating, as well as complementing the signature Aesop dark brown bottles on display. Using Performance Glass A fac?ade of floor-to-ceiling vertical glass blades, manufactured from Viridian VFloat Clear, create reflections that flicker as customers approach the store, subtly echoing the dance of light across the waves of Sydney Harbour. “I guess you could say that glass is the hero of Aesop Chatswood’s design,” says Ryan. “It complements the plywood and antique fittings and makes a huge impact within the shopping centre environment.” While the glass blades were chosen primarily for aesthetic reasons, they also provided two key functional advantages. The open nature of the fac?ade enables the centre’s fire detection system to operate at all times, even when the door is closed, while also permeating the scent of Aesop products into the centre, an environment where stores are competing furiously for a slice of shoppers’ attention. As well as winning the Vision Award, Aesop Chatswood received a commendation in the retail category of the 2010 Interior Design Awards. 2011 Vision Awards Viridian's Vision Awards celebrate and promote the innovative use of glass in commercial and residential applications. The 2011 awards are open for entry until 31 March 2011 for projects completed in 2010. Each category has a $5,000 prize, presented on 15 April 2011 at the AIA National Architecture Conference. For more information, visit the award information page on the Viridian New World Glass website.