Kois Associated Architects bring the spirit and taste of the Cycladic Islands to Athens in the sun-filled redesign of Museum of Cycladic Art's Shop and Café.
Athen's Museum of Cycladic Art is dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with special emphasis on Cycladic Art of the 3rd millennium BC. The museum is a glimpse into the ancient lives of the Cycladic Civilization, where the culture's famous flat idols carved out of the islands' pure white marble have been carefully preserved under a safe canopy in the middle of the bustling city.
Located in one of Greece's most stunning neoclassic buildings, the museum called for a remodel of the joining Cycladic Shop and Café to bring a minimal, serene, and sun-filled garden into the city. Athonian architect Stelios Kois, the founder of Kois Associated Architects, led his team on the journey to redesign spaces that would bring the spirit and tastes of the Cyclades Islands to the heart of Athens.
Kois' inspiration came from the juxtaposition of simple and thoughtful elements of traditional Cycladic art with building's classical architectural elements.
Kois' reinterpretation of the Café consists of long, monolithic marble benches with upholstered grey seating pads, small cafe-style dining tables, earthy walnut woods, and a stark white, angular ceiling that has been carefully designed by Doxiadis+, specifically architect Aggeliki Mathioudaki. The sparse, serene and sun-filled garden is realized with a well balanced tree-lined atrium that allows natural sunlight to breach the eatery, but also provides natural shading.
The shop is chock-full of refined objects crafted by both Greek and international artists, curated by Yatzer (Athens-based design blog) founder, Costas Voyatzis. Visitors can buy small pieces of ancient history through the Shop’s selection of Cycladic statue copies, marble statues and ancient Greek jewellery, which are available side by side with contemporary pieces from new, local designers. The Cycladic Shop employs the same warm walnut woods on the floors and ceilings with horizontal glass display shelving between.
The beauty and simplicity of the new Cycladic Shop & Café have made it Athen's new talking piece for locals and visitors alike. The remodel is a collaborative place where old-meets-new and architecture-meets-nature.
Photo © Giorgos Sfakianakis