Purity and naturalness. On the other side, methods competing with space technology in the manufacture of the products. Merging these notions into a unified style sounds as a serious challenge. The creators of the first Budapest boutique of the Dead Sea mineral-based cosmetics company Ahava were facing this challenge.

The boutique is a typical case of “tied dancing”. The young designers of the office had to allocate three different functions on the very few square meters of the narrow and high shop premises in the reborn Paris Department Store.

The result is yet airy and intimate. The brand required design elements, such as the DNA pattern wall, or the exhibition of the cosmetics‘ ingredients, just act as nice supplements to the light structured beauty-capsule of the designers. The space-enhancing solution may soon become an international brand element with good chance, as a witty way to separate the open space of selling, and the experience section molded into the recipient spiral form.

The capsule‘s semi-open bottom offers an intimate venue for testing the products, while the hidden, closed compartment above, reached by the spiral staircase, for cosmetic treatments. It almost floats in space, thanks to its carefully sized and shaped volume, and the lower illumination. In the tiny interiors of the cocoon the feeling of spaciousness is provided – in addition to the white color and the sci-fi-like cabinets – by the backlit Dead Sea Panorama images.

In the space presenting the products large panels filled with salt and mud, a dark brown wall section, and the raw, rustic-style bleached wood shelves create a counterpoint to the essentially clean, white interior, although even the things that look alike, are not smooth. The surface of the capsule – seems as fine leather – is reached with a method used in cars‘ dashboards, whereas the wall panels show delicate reflections and pattern due to their waxy rendering.

The gaps and cracks remaining between the statutory functions were filled with the technical facilities and storages, the ventilation under the stairs, or the shelving to be used on both levels. For the casual observer this may seem simple and obvious, but each inch of the space desired an individual solution.


Zsolt Alexa, Donát Rabb, Ákos Schreck, Attila Domokos, Tímea Molnár, Ivett Tarr


Barnabás Imre


Paris Department Store, Andrássy Str, Budapest, Hungary