Aesop Sapporo Stellar Place, Sapporo

Designed by: Case-Real / Koichi Futatsumata
For client: Aesop Floor area: 48.60 M² Year of completion: 2016
Nominated for: Best Use of Material

© Takumi Ota

Main view of the store

About the Project

For this store, we aimed to portray the poetic and schematic atmosphere which can be found in Sapporo, Japan: a primeval forest of white birch in snow, and mountains covered with fog surrounding the city with the architecture and man-made artifacts within. These are scenes that contain contradictory elements; they are at the same time dynamic and fragile, with a sense of roughness but also delicate, and in darkness but with sunlight. The designers believe this is a complementary atmosphere for the Aesop products.

The main material is “Sapporo Freestone,” and is applied it to the walls and counter.
Sapporo Freestone is a type of volcanic tuff, which has been used in the region as construction materials for public facilities and private storehouses. The material has a fine surface and suitable solidity, is easily mined, and has light-weight, heat-retaining, and fire-resistant characteristics. The concept is to overlap the landscapes of the region by using a roughly finished freestone that adds texture and abstract expression.

For the functional display shelves and other fixtures, a vibration-finish stainless steel is used, which complements the grey colour of soft stone. The goal is to portray the man-made artifacts alongside the harsh aspects of nature while maintaining a cohesive atmosphere.

What’s unique about it

The most distinctive feature of this project is the resonance between the material, Sapporo freestone, and the scenes of the region Sapporo. When the store opened the landlord said, "The stones really look like a snowscape. This is a store but I feel as if a piazza was completed in the shopping mall." The distinctive texture of Sapporo freestone induces such a response. This stone not only has a unique texture, but is easily manipulated to achieve the desired effect. Utilizing this unique quality, both fine and rough surfaces are applied throughout the space to reflect the contradictory elements of the surrounding nature. Building further on this idea of duality, curved lines are used for the bench and table to contrast the sharp edges. 

The material palette of natural stone and stainless steel combine the soothing aspects of nature with the waterproof qualities and strength required for the retail space.

© Takumi Ota

The curved surface of the bench and rough surface of the column.

© Takumi Ota

The products displayed at the entrance of the stock create the feeling of the store's depth.

© Takumi Ota

Close-up view of the sink.

© Takumi Ota

Close-up view of display shelves.

© Takumi Ota

The curved surface of the POS counter for the customer's baggage. The sink also has a rounded shape for the water flow and curved form to guide circulation.

© Takumi Ota

Upper view of the sink.

© Takumi Ota

Close-up view of the pendant light. The bottom of the lamp also covered with the stainless steel vibration finish.

© Takumi Ota

Facade of the store.


The view of Sapporo Freestone's quarry.

Location of project:
CASE-REAL (Koichi Futatsumata)

&S co.,ltd

BRANCH lighting design (Tatsuki Nakamura)

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