Aesop 1 Utama

Aesop 1 Utama is an exploration into how corrugated roofing sheets can be adapted in inventive ways,
without losing their essential character and materiality. The store is a homage to tin,
and the place it has in the greater Selangor region’s life and history.

An abstraction of local, vernacular tin roofs.

Commonly seen in large Cities and Kampungs, along highways and side street, homes and markets, hawker stalls and factories all over Malaysia, the corrugated “tin” roof sheet is almost part of the vernacular architecture. It is a humble, affordable, and versatile material. Originally made entirely of tin, and today more commonly of alloys, the sheets have an intrinsic link to the region of Selangor which is rich in tin mining history.

Aesop 1 Utama is an exploration into how corrugated roofing sheets can be adapted in inventive ways, without losing their essential character and materiality. The store is a homage to tin, and the place it has in the greater Selangor region’s life and history.

The layout of the store is simple and symmetrical with a large display window at the front; it is the material which takes center stage. The store is built essentially around two expressions of the corrugated tin, a vertical planar use of the sheets, which expresses its undulating surface, and a horizontal stacked cross-sectional approach to using the material, expressing its mass and edge profile.
In its vertical application, the sheets are used as formwork to cast concrete walls. In this way, an imprint of the actual tin sheets are left upon the concrete, and the perception and materiality of the original tin is transformed via a complementary material. The service counters are expressed as simple blocks of concrete.

In its horizontal expression, densely packed corrugated metal sheets reveal a shimmering and often unseen perspective of the corrugated tin roof: its stacked edges as a form of visual expression. By varying the width and thicknesses of the stacking, a range of elements can be created: slim product display shelves, a sturdy plinth for seating and weighty platforms for visual merchandising. Here the tactility of the tin sheets are literally seen from another angle, reinterpreted and appreciated anew.

Aesop 1 Utama takes inspiration from its location and its history. It adopts a humble and simple material and reinterprets and transforms it. It makes the ubiquitous tin roofing sheet strangely familiar and in doing so heightens one’s awareness of its innate qualities.
LOCATION
Malaysia
YEAR
Completion 2019
DISCIPLINE
INTERIOR
TYPOLOGY
RETAIL
SIZE
80
TEAM
Peter Sim, Selwyn Low, Jaclyn Chan, Limay Foo