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Brooklyn’s famed brownstones inspired the Aesop Park Slope store

Brooklyn’s famed brownstones inspired the Aesop Park Slope store

Residential Design
WATCH: Global architecture and design highlights, including Aesop Park Slope by Frida Escobedo.

Located in one of the most evolving and old neighbourhoods in Brooklyn, Aesop Park Slope takes its inspiration from the surrounding brownstone residences, with their repeating, angled facades and intricate brickwork. The store’s design is based upon a simple module that acquires a complex pattern by shifting its position and creating a series of overlaps that bring to mind Anni Albers ‘weaving’ patterns as a contemporary take on the traditional Brooklyn typology.

A corner entrance gives way to interior walls that weft in brownstone formation. Alcoves and corners emerge as areas of inhabitation and display; the negative space behind the walls becomes a place of repose for staff. In this way, the space’s choreography simulates the meandering experience of walking through the neighbourhood. 

Aesop Park Slope store by Frida Escobedo.

Aesop Park Slope store by Frida Escobedo

Location New York City, New York
Function Retail store
Client Aesop
Completion date 2019 
Architect Frida Escobedo, taller de Arquitectura 
Design team Frida Escobedo, José María Gómez De León 

Rammed earth from Oaxaca in Mexico was handcrafted into auburn bricks with rich imperfections, variations of tone and texture. The bricks draw connections and contrasts between Mexico and Brooklyn, between the global and local. They tessellate in diagonal rows that reiterate, at a smaller scale, the angling brownstone streetscapes. 

Frida Escobedo’s approach to design is driven by the conviction that architecture and design represent, above all, a crucial means to interrogate and comment on contemporary social, economic, and political phenomena. In this formulation, art (both contemporary and historical) serves as an indispensable touchstone. The studio’s creative output operates at a wide array of scales and mediums, encompassing buildings and experimental preservation projects, temporary installations and public sculpture, limited edition objects, publications and exhibition designs. 

Informed by material sensibility and intuitive feeling for pattern, Escobedo’s work is undeniably architectural, yet frequently and intentionally blurs the boundary between architecture and art. 

Aesop Park Slope by Frida Escobedo is just one on many projects featured in Materialty 2021, a free cloth-bound publication from Brickworks that explores the use of brick and concrete block in contemporary architecture. Register for your free copy.


Rammed earth from Oaxaca in Mexico was handcrafted into auburn bricks with rich imperfections, variations of tone and texture. They tessellate in diagonal rows that reiterate, at a smaller scale, the angling brownstone streetscapes.

Materiality 2021
Aesop Park Slope
Aesop Park Slope

This article is an edited extract from Materiality 2021, a publication by Brickworks Building Products. Catch up on more architecture highlights. Plus, subscribe to Daily Architecture News for weekly updates delivered directly to your inbox.

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