Antonios Markos and Manthos Kaloumenos
Retail / Commercial
The Antonios Markos Boutique is a 200 m² space split into two levels. Rather than adopting a traditional display format, the large exterior windows serve to provide passers by with an alternative perspective on the products displayed throughout the store. The interior space was reorganised and simplified to correspond with the building’s structural elements. Simple walls, columns, beams and a staircase constitute the architectural details. Lighting follows suit, illuminating all of the rooms uniformly. The floor treatment was made from large blocks of natural travertine stone in a beige-grey, creating contrast with the material of the furniture.
The furniture provides the conceptual component of the project. The entrance is found on the lower level, passing under a black canopy designed as a shadow-like block above the gangway, or a shadow without an object. The furniture was designed with the aid of 3D computer code, programmed to follow a basic pattern that repeats and switches compositions. Curves of the store’s ergonomic needs, movements and actions, lighting and display were considered to generate furniture that builds up and utilises the available space. The islands were created on a larger scale than regular retail fixtures, giving the impression of having been developed within the space. Though their monumental stature denies the possibility of repositioning, further designs can easily be repeated and extended by following the pre-programmed design process described above.
The clothes rails become a critical play on the garments, not only serving to highlight selected clothing but also proposing a pathway through the space as guidance for the visitor. Positioned as if it were a simplified mosquito on the wall, the forms curve around the windows, leaving enough open space for further product display. In addition they function as a folding partition, partially obscuring the interior to provide intimacy and protection from the sun.
On the lower level the furniture has been made in a medium grey, while the dressing room is made from acrylic panels in a matte, translucent light-grey. To access the second floor the visitor ascends a narrow staircase, built to behave as a tunnel that ensures fixtures from both floors are not simultaneously visible. With only the visitor’s memory of the previous space remaining, these two floors appear extremely similar. Upon closer inspection, one notices that the upper level fixtures have been constructed from a darker grey material with darker panels for the the dressing rooms. The result creates higher contrast, building a natural and subtle hierarchy between the spaces for the visitor. This method of design comes as part of Gonzalez and Haase’s ongoing research into modified behaviours through imperceptible spatial alterations.
Floor: travertine stone in beige-grey, mirror polish
Light: Dry-Lights by Gonzalez Haase AAS, American Standard, Erco with PAR Phillips Dressing rooms: thick matte acrylic panels in grey, mounted on chrome bars, black silk textile
Furniture and fixtures: grey and black MDF, lacquered MDF shelf
Hanging system: chromed metal bars
Address: 35 Skoufa & Voucourestiou Street, Kolonaki, 10673 Athens, Greece
Photographs: Thomas Meyer – Ostkreuz
Images: Gonzalez Haase AAS