PSLab Illuminates Aesop Hamburg Store in ABC Viertel
Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Beirut, with offices in Stuttgart, Bologna, Dubai, Singapore and Amsterdam, PSLab is a lighting designer and manufacturer with a bespoke approach. With no catalogue, no off-the-shelf products stocked for pick-up and purchase, PSLab engages in project-specific design of high-end lighting products, tailoring and personalizing each one to the different needs of the space and project.
PSLab collaborated with global skincare company Aesop and Antwerp-based practice Vincent Van Duysen Architects on the first Aesop store in Hamburg, the company's first to offer a facial treatment room in Europe. The ample storefront is located in a historic building of the sophisticated ABC Viertel district downtown, tucked away on a slanting side street, and illuminated by considered clusters of PSLab's directional halide downlights scattered across the interior's pared-back ceiling.
The store's simple, subtle palette, with ecru curtains, wicker chairs and oak structures, contrasted by details of blackened plated steel and tempered by bluestone, offers a calming atmosphere with the seriousness of a library, the ladder and case-like shelving units resembling bookshelves of sorts. The treatment room, where skincare appointments and facial treatments are held by Aesop-trained facial therapists, on the other hand, is illuminated by a floor-to-ceiling rod with three projectable lights.
Fountain-like, massive and dominating one side of the store, the bluestone basin is the centrepiece around which in-store consultations are performed. Taking inspiration from rituals of washing, highly-trained consultants invite each customer to experience the products first-hand, performing a sink demonstration following in-depth skincare consultations to suit each customer's needs.
Two pendant lamps, long and rectangular and of blackened steel plate, designed by Vincent Van Duysen and developed and built by PSLab, are set up above the point-of-sale and display counters. In concert with the oak and steel display shelves, they provide a delicate yet structured industrial accent that blends seamlessly into the store's character.
The collaboration between the three companies suggests that PSLab's personalized, rigorous, detailed approach to lighting design complements not only Aesop's philosophy on design, but also its prescriptive approach to skincare as something that is situational, context-specific and always changing.
If you find yourself in Hamburg, consider setting a skincare appointment in advance with an Aesop-trained facial therapist for a moment of respite and treatment. ABC Viertel is one of six permanent locations globally that offer specialized skincare appointments.
Images courtesy of PSLab