Cane, travertine and ash wood all feature inside this warm-toned skincare store, built by O’Sullivan Skoufoglou Architects in Lincolnshire, England. Created for skincare brand RÖ Skin, the space occupies a medieval building in the town of Stamford. It is divided into two zones, with the retail space at the front and a separate treatment area at the back.
“An important consideration for the young owners was to have an identity rooted in the place that could be felt by the visitors,” said O’Sullivan Skoufoglou. “The concept is based on traditional apothecaries and their age-old practices.” To preserve the space’s atmosphere, the architects used the existing structure and apertures to inform the elongated plan.
The windows located on the boundary walls dictated the positioning of the three treatment rooms, while the large shopfront is divided in two by an original stone column. A framework of bespoke ash and cane mesh display units line the edges of the shop space, which also function as screening for the treatment rooms beyond.
As with previous O’Sullivan Skoufoglou projects – including London house extensions Dewsbury Road and Riversdale Road – these cabinets feature thoughtful joinery details. “Cane mesh was chosen in order to allow transparency, light and visual connection, as well as to echo the famous Stamford woollen mesh cloth known as Haberget, produced during the Middle Ages,” explained the design team.
A large circular travertine-topped sink counter is positioned in the centre of the space, where visitors are encouraged to test products. The ceiling height lowers at the counter space, which visitors arrive at before entering the corridor leading to the treatment rooms. The aim was for this to function as a visual threshold between the public and private spaces.
Arranged along the building’s boundary wall, the three treatment rooms all benefit from natural light. The materials palette here features birch plywood, linen curtains and a painted dado rail. At the back of the space, a waiting area furnished with a simple bench looks out onto the historic arched passageway of St Mary’s Hill. Throughout the interior, there are also a series of loose, free-standing display components with circular tops, conceived by the architects to complement the sink unit.
Melbourne-based Aesop is another skincare brand that is well-known for its design-focused outlets around the world. The brand works with different architects almost every time, meaning no two stores are the same. Most recently, the brand worked with Alain Carle Architecte to design a store with dark green suede and brass details that make it feel like a jazz club.