ingenious architecture: aesop new york, by tacklebox…
Posted in interiors, stores January 31st, 2012 by pia

Do you remember some time ago now, I wrote about an architecture & design firm called tacklebox? It is an innovative company based in New York, founded by my friend & architect Jeremy Barbour. If you recall, he designed the saipua showroom in Brooklyn, NY, creating a fabulous space made from recycled silver barn wood (read my post and view the gorgeous photos of the space here).

Last year, Jeremy came out to Australia for a special secretive research mission for melbourne-based skin care range aesop, and over a lovely lunch in Paddington, here in Sydney, he revealed to me a little about what he was up to and what he wanted to create. I was captivated, and could not wait to see the project unfold and revealed to the public. A few months ago, the spaces in New York were opened: one in grand central station, another on Elizabeth St in the Nolita, and the other in Greenwich Village, University Place. Take a look…

Aesop Nolita, Elizabeth St, New York, photos by Gianluca Fellini.


Aesop Grand Central Kiosk, in Grand Central station, photos by Juliana Sohn.


Aesop University Place, Greenwich Village, photos by Juliana Sohn. (particularly loving the store’s sink which was salvaged from Bethlehem Steel’s 140-year-old plant in Pennsylvania).


The concept was to use the New York Times newsprint as a material within the foundations. The aesop Grand Central Kiosk for example, is constructed of 1,800 reclaimed newspapers from the New York Times. The aesop range sit on a tiered mass of stacked and bound newsprint while loosely hanging papers form a canopy above. For the Nolita store, 2800 New York Times newspapers were hand-torn into 400,000 strips which were then stacked to create “a soft, felt-like surface held within a continuous oak wrapper”.

“Just as oak is commonly used to store and age wine and spirits, so too will the newspaper age, turning a light tan, thus marking the passing of time. In this way, the history of Aesop North America will be recorded within the very walls of this first store.”

The newsprint, stacked and pressed, ready to be used.

As you know, I’ve been loving the use of recycled paper as a material lately, perhaps it has something to do with the onslaught of technology, and the growing, ill feeling of living within a paperless society. Preserving and maintaining the use of paper in our world seems imperative, and I love how imaginative people are toward its many uses these days.

Congratulations Jeremy on completing yet another stunning set of spaces using recycled material and furnishings – you’re an inspiration to us all, I can’t wait to see what you create next! And a big thank you for sharing your projects here in the (blog)house.

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  1. Lisette says

    Wow, I love this use of paper!! The shops are stunning – what an amazing project to have worked on. Congratulations to your friend, and thanks to you for sharing, Pia!

    January 31st, 2012 | #

  2. Marte Marie Forsberg says

    This is just too fantastic! I’m absolutely blow away. Love the simplicity, the reuse, the history in the making by using newspaper to create the textured walls and the overall completely modern rustic mix. I’m a wee bit in love;)

    January 31st, 2012 | #

  3. tyler says

    wow, what a beautiful use of newsprint.

    February 1st, 2012 | #

  4. says

    Oh yes! how good does this look – when next in NY must pop in.

    February 1st, 2012 | #

  5. Jenni Booth says

    So cool. So clever. Don’t you just love all the great ideas that are coming out of recycling what we already have in the world! Lets keep it up and keep landfill down!
    Beautiful post Pia! Thanks. xx Jen

    February 1st, 2012 | #

  6. Anita says

    Yes!Ingenious!There is no other word for it!

    February 1st, 2012 | #

  7. Violetsrose says

    This looks amazing with the stores brand new – but I’m wondering exactly how they hope to keep it clean – especially considering the products they are selling – it only takes one customer to over-enthusiastically squeeze a tester tube near the wall and its going to be sticky and picking up dirt forever!

    February 3rd, 2012 | #

  8. Zoe says

    Gosh, Aesop has hit the nail on the head – amazing products, amazing business ethos, amazing stores and the fact that they emphasise the use of recycled materials – well that just tips them over the edge into damn-right bloomin perfect!! Thanks for the interesting article…ummm inspired….

    February 4th, 2012 | #

  9. eilish bouchier says

    Inspired. I saw these a few months ago and they look wonderful in real life too and feel great. I hadn’t know it was the NYT. I thought it was cardboard. This makes the story even better. It felt perfect to continue that great aesop feel. I love their stores.

    February 5th, 2012 | #

  10. Julie Short says

    What a fantastic blogpost about an inspiring subject. Thank you for showing what can be done.

    February 5th, 2012 | #

  11. Paris Rendez-vous says

    Wow…tres chic Aesop. Love the use of old torn papers……and the industrial sink is perfect. Bravo.

    February 5th, 2012 | #

  12. Calico Child says

    Oh my that is just so stunning the simplicity of it is just clean & classic a fab looking shop love clean lines.

    February 5th, 2012 | #

  13. elissa says

    what an incredible space. i love everything about it, down to the smallest details.

    February 5th, 2012 | #

  14. Chloe says

    I absolutely love Aesop products and it simple design. You’re instantly drawn in-much the same for me with Kiehl’s too.

    February 6th, 2012 | #

  15. Punctuation Mark says

    this is really ingenious design… very cool and environmentally friendly!

    February 9th, 2012 | #

  16. leanne thomas says

    i find their stores so inspirational. i love your blog also. x

    February 14th, 2012 | #

  17. Cindy Forrester says

    Hi Pia – I just love the beauty that you bring into our lives – I am not even sure how I came across your site but your photography just took my breath away – I now have all 3 of your books and I am in the middle of reading my heart wanders – they are all fabulous – I find myself picking them up every other day or so and revisiting – Warmest regards – Cindy

    February 20th, 2012 | #

  18. Sweet Freak says

    I walk by the new Aesop on University all the time and love it, but I haven’t yet seen the Grand Central kiosk – wow, it’s really something else!

    February 20th, 2012 | #

  19. Spongedrop says

    I love this. Aesop always do gorgeous things – products, packaging, design, stores etc. Your friend has amazing vision!

    February 24th, 2012 | #

  20. EdenClare says

    i love it sooooo much here..
    on you blog that i even
    made it my home page…
    how silly in love am i!
    xoxo EdenClare

    April 13th, 2012 | #

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    April 29th, 2012 | #

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