AESOP LAMBS CONDUIT STREET
Taxonomy of Design
Water moves through this place.
A quiet reverence for water. WATER as THE material. The catalyst of many Aesop products and the heart of the street for centuries. After all, it was the flow of water that connected Lambe and Conduit.
( See ) the dancing, rippling reflections. Elusive yet constant.
A feeling of Permanence, that is right and good without having to prove itself. A contemplative place. Calm. Composed.
Copper vessels carry the water. 24 square metres, 612 folds, 160 corners brazed, cleaned, filed and polished into 38 connected shelves.
(The store is) Grounded in baked earth. A study in Staffordshire Blue quarry tiles. The colour of bridges.
The hues and tones are drawn from the local area and its history. Dora Carrington from the Bloomsbury set. Her ‘Female figure standing from 1913’ – the colours of fleshy figures. Naked. Bathing. Their pale and delicate opulence whispers of the reverence of skin.
As you move through the store, and leave London’s chatter behind, small steps lead to a dark enveloping space, before revealing a quiet garden room.
(There’s) Time – To stop. Creeping greenery stakes claim. Understated but enduring benches and coat stands are punctuation marks. Their presence makes it a place to stay in.
( Listen and ) Hear – The gentle flow of water. Controlled – and deliberate.
The sound would delight the spirit of William Lambe – he brought water here in 1577 – rebuilding an underground conduit– and so the street was named in his honour.
It may invoke the interest of Alfred Stanley Foord. In his book ‘Springs, streams and Spas of London’, from 1910 he wrote “…some residents obtained leave to lay a small pipe or ‘quill’ – probably as the name implies not exceeding a goose quill in diameter…”
A Quill of water. (Calmy, quietly, disrupting the space with beautiful reflections)
A place where the past converges with the present. Ancient elements that have, and will, exist through time.
Here and now – momentary echoes of water and light reflect.
The springs of London still flourish.