Claus Porto is one of Portugal’s most cherished heritage brands, creating fine-milled perfumed soaps by the same traditional process since 1887. Within the trend-driven, fashion-forward cosmetics floor of a department store, among multinational brands, Claus Porto needed an autonomous space with an identity distinguished from its surroundings. Studio Astolfi set out to create a quiet, twelve-square-meter refuge that spoke of history, authenticity, and quality, evoking a vision of a late-nineteenth-century barbershop complete with cases, countertops and barber’s chair. Clients might even get an old-fashioned shave there. Corte Ingles’s height restriction posed a challenge, stating that the walls of this temporary installation could rise no further than 1.4 meters in order to preserve the spatial consistency of the cosmetics floor. The Studio’s solution was radically simple: shave off the top of the barbershop. Walls, cabinets, shelves, mirrors and fixtures were sliced horizontally and left raw, like the top had been lifted off a dollhouse. A timeless, fresh minty green kept the inward-oriented space subtly bright, drawing customers from the nondescript exterior into a Claus world articulated by vintage photographs and documents, and original products juxtaposed with contemporary ones.
© Studio Astolfi